Big Fight Begins (Ends?) Over Brandeis University’s Plans to Close Art Museum and Sell Collection

Following the story we reported on late last week with the news that Brandeis University was announcing its sudden plans to close the Rose Art Museum and sell off its entire collection as soon as possible, two things happened: first, a huge mass of people began making trips to the museum, to both see its collection and to protest the decision. Second, in reaction to the large, angry response, the president of Brandeis, Jehuda Reinharz, said that it was possible that the university might not sell the collection after all, but that it would still definitely be shutting down the museum and turning it into a new education building, no matter what. But while that sounded like something of at least a compromise, the NY Times Roberta Smith wrote this scathing report of Brandeis’ trustees’ actions, making it seem as though all hope was lost and the total sale would continue:

And now the trustees have stepped in and said, in effect, “Thank you very much for your dedication, generosity and sacrifice, but this jewel is ours to dispose of as we please.”

…The message out of Brandeis University last week — to its own students and to the world — was that when the going gets tough, none of this matters. Art is dispensable.

So all that’s left to do now is wait and see. What’s more, we’re guessing that this story won’t be the end of this type of news.