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March 18 2009 4 18 /03 /March /2009 10:30

“Saints and Sinners”: Ironical title for what could be one of the last exhibitions of the Rose Museum, today strongly threatened of closure and of loosing their art collection by the University it is attached to, the Brandeis University.

Since the beginning of the financial crisis, Museums and Universities are suffering from deep cuts in their budgets: losses of 30 percent in the museum’s budgets, and North American college endowment declined average of 22, 5 percent in three months. Furthermore, in the case of the Brandeis University, one of the principal donator, Carl Shapiro, lost $545 millions in Maddof’s alleged Ponzi scheme. They announced a budget deficit of more than $10 millions.  "It's like a one-two-three punch: The economy tanks, they overbuilt at the peak of the market, and their largest donor was hit dramatically by the Madoff scandal," said Mark Williams, a Boston University senior lecturer who specializes in risk management and has studied Brandeis's finances.


In January, the president of the Brandeis University Jehuda Reinharz said that he would close the museum and publicly sell the art collection to raise funds. But he revised his statement affirming that the museum will no longer be public and therefore will inclined more their activity toward the students of the university, serving the school educational need. Secondly, only some works of the art collection will be auctioned. But this statement is still vague: Does it mean that there could be classes instead of exhibitions? Which works will be sold, and at what price, considering the fall down of the art market?

Those questions remain, and the Rose family, in charge of the museum since 1961 strongly demand the school to back the plan, and ask to stop “plundering the Rose Art museum”, reported the Wall Street Journal. The criticism toward Mr. Reinharz’s politic is rising: "The art has been put on the auction block. The museum has been put on the chopping block. We object," said the statement.

In fact, it is not any art that might be sold, it is a very strong collection of American Art of the 60’s and 70’s : Wahrol, Willem de Kooning, Mattew Barney, Nan Goldin, Donald Judd, Roy Lichstenstein, are name among the 7000 works of the collection. Thus, a part of the American patrimony would be spread in private collection, invisible to eyes of the public… Is the State going to do something about it, like he starts involving in banks and industries?

On Thursday, a committee constituted of 50 members of the Rose Family will determined the role of the Museum.

“Saints and Sinners”, an exhibition about the fundamental opposition between modern and contemporary art, that the curator defines as a division between the spiritual and the material, the eternal and the everyday life. With this topic, the museum has gone straight to the point, and gives a strangely accurate illustration of the war engaged between cash and culture.

[Visual above: view of the Rose Art Museum, courtesy Rose Art Museum ]

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abhishek 03/19/2009 15:00

nice blog!!!! keep it up!!!