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Rose Art Advisory Panel Gives Thumbs Up to Brandeis’ Closure Plans, Supporters Cry Foul

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We return to the Boston area now to check in with the always bizarre goings on with the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University. When we last took a peek, after a full winter of discontent, the university announced that they would not be selling the museum’s collection and closing the place down for “the immediate future.” So that certainly wasn’t great for supporters of the Rose, but it seemed like at least a stand still for a few seconds. Now news comes out that the university-formed committee, named The Future of the Rose Committee, has released a report giving a vote of confidence in the university’s decision to sell and think it’s fine to let its director leave for good. But after having seen the goings on at Brandeis over the past few months, you have to assume there’s some sort of catch to this impartial committee’s decision, don’t you? It turns out that the committee members were all selected by the university itself according to those against the sale and closure of the Rose. Here’s a bit from the Boston Globe from the Rose supporters’ side:

“It reminds me of something like a Stalinesque show committee,” said [Jonathan Lee], chairman of the Rose’s board of directors. “These are all hand-picked people by the administration. We didn’t get to pick who represents us.”

The university announced in January its intention to transform the museum into an educational art center and sell some of the artwork. The announcement spurred an international uproar and vehement protests. Rush’s contract is up at the end of June and it will not be renewed.

Last week at least 30 professors signed a letter of protest, saying that [director Michael Rush] should be kept in the position.

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