Monday, March 16, 2009

Can Brandeis leaders be trusted?

Can Brandeis leaders be trusted?

1. When Brandeis leaders first announced plans to close the Rose Art Museum on Jan. 26, they sent out an e-mail to members of the press stating that the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office “has been informed and has not balked at this at all, given the situation the [university] finds itself in.” But it turned out that the AG’s office had just been notified that afternoon and had not offered an opinion on the plan.

2. The initial announcement implied that faculty backed the administration’s plan. That implication turned out to be something of an exaggeration.

3. On Feb. 5, President Jehuda Reinharz issued a statement seeming to backpedal by saying “the museum will remain open,” when in fact details of the plan seemed not to have changed one wit.

With such a pattern of, uh, semantic error how much can we believe what Brandeis leaders say? And if they can’t be trusted, is that grounds for removal?


Blogger Donna Dodson said...

I was at the Rose Art Museum last Wed Mar 11th to hear Laura Hoptman's talk about the current exhibit 'Saints and Sinners' that she curated and Michael Rush and Joe Ketner were in attendance along with Martha Buskirk and other members of the CAA. Ms Hoptman's talk was essentially a rant on the current situation at Brandeis and I was so glad to hear her position on the issues. As of last week, they were going to close the museum at the end of May and the items that were the most likely to get sold were acquisitions made by the founder Sam Francis rather than pieces that were gifted to the museum. There was a lot of discussion and semantics about who bought what when and which pieces can and cannot be sold. The outcry during the talk was for the integrity of the collection to remain together as a whole and the relationship among the pieces that the museum currently owns and the mythical conversation among the artists whose works are currently in the permanent collection. I just finished reading 'The Girl with the Gallery' by Lindsay Pollock about Edith Halpert, one of the pioneering art dealers in NYC from 1926-1966 at the Downtown Gallery. She was one of the founding 12 members of the ADAA and made a huge contribution to the careers of the early moderns. Her story ends sadly with her collection auctioned off instead of being gifted to a museum. Sadly the tale of greed in the art world is not a new one.

March 18, 2009 at 9:18 AM  

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