Punishing the Child for the Sins of the Parent; Another Note on the Rose Art Museum

When the story of the closing of the Rose Art Museum came out, it initially struck me as rather different from the recent deaccessioning of artwork that has occurred at other museums. It wasn’t just the fact that an entire institution is to be closed, an entire collection dispersed, but the odd thing was that the museum itself is not to blame. From the information available, the museum appears to be a well managed institution that received little if any support from Brandeis University. The Rose is being closed because of the errors, mistakes and bad luck of its parent organization, rather than anything attributable to its own administration. If anything, it appears to be a model educational museum. It is quite a contrast to the recent deaccessionment controversy of the National Academy and the LA MoCA “bailout.”

In the context of the Rose Art Museum, Roberta Smith clearly enuciates these issues in the Times this week. The article sums up the overall situation well and also provides a overview of the museum, its benefactors, the significance of the collection and the effect of the closing upon art students at Brandeis.

In the Closing of Brandeis Museum, a Stark Statement of Priorities

Brandeis Board of Trustees

Update 2/5/2009:  Carol Vogel and Randy Kennedy report in the Times that efforts to prevent the museum’s closure have begun.


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