Brandeis University plans major renovation of Rose Art Museum

March 23, 2011
Upgrades come two years after school had considered closing facility

From The Boston Globe: Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., is planning to undergo major renovations that college officials say will protect the museum’s acclaimed modern art collection for the long haul. When the museum closes at the end of April, the shallow pond on the lower level will be removed, a new HVAC system will be installed, and new energy-efficient glass will replace the existing glass walls on the front of the museum. The Rose plans to reopen this fall in time for its 50th anniversary celebration of its founding. Brandeis University officials drew criticism in January 2009, when they announced plans to close the museum and sell its 6,000-piece collection. Months later, a university panel recommended that the museum remain open.
SEPTEMBER 2009...from The Boston Globe: Eight months after the financially strapped Brandeis University threatened to shutter the Rose Art Museum, a committee examining the future of the museum is recommending that it remain open to the public. In January, Brandeis’s president, Jehuda Reinharz, ignited an international firestorm when he announced the museum would close and its 7,500-object collection would be auctioned off to help support the Waltham school.

FEBRUARY 2009: Lingering questions about the future of Brandeis University's Rose Art Museum have shaken members of the academic arts community, who are facing their own struggles to safeguard and showcase their treasures amid the flagging economy. Wellesley College, Boston College, Phillips Academy, and Tufts University all have noteworthy collections or museums that are seen as a key part of their educational missions. While none seem in danger, officials say, they are being financially cautious.
To read The Boston Globe article, click here.

FROM JANUARY 2009: Brandeis University president Jehuda Reinharz has opened the possibility that the school would not sell its $350 million art collection. But he says he will not change his mind about closing Rose Art Museum and turning it into a study and research center. Reinharz confirmed says that if the economic and philanthropic picture brightens, the Waltham, Mass., university may not have to sell the collection of modern art that includes works by Warhol, de Kooning, and Magritte.To read The Boston Globe article, click here.EARLIER: Donors and longtime supporters of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., are exploring whether they can block the university's decision to close the museum and sell an art collection that had been valued at $350 million. Brandeis's announcement that it would sell the collection to help shore up the university's finances raises a thicket of legal questions about what the university can do with money and art donated to the Rose, especially pieces given with the restriction that they be displayed publicly.To read The Boston Globe article, click here. REACTION: The decision to close the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University and sell off its extraordinary collection smacks of panic. To read The Boston Globe article, click here.

Rocked by a budget crisis, Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., will close its Rose Art Museum and sell off a 6,000-object collection that includes work by such contemporary masters as Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and Nam June Paik. Michael Rush, the Rose Art Museum director, estimated the collection’s value could top $350 million. The director and other museum supporters took issue with the university's decision, which came after endowment losses and a sharp slowdown in fund-raising.
To read The Boston Globe article, click here.

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