Brandeis Clarifies Short-Term Plans for Rose [updated]

Brandeis Clarifies Short-Term Plans for Rose [updated]
Responding to a request from an organization calling itself the Committee for the Future of the Rose, Brandeis University has sent a statement to the school's community regarding immediate plans for its Rose Art Museum. The announcement follows a statement in January, later retracted, that the museum would be closed and its collection sold, and is meant to allow the committee's members "sufficient time for careful exploration, analysis, and deliberation," it said.

"This announcement affirms the University’s commitment that the Rose Art Museum will remain a museum open to the public with professionally trained staff," the newsletter reads, specifying that "to this end," four of the museum's six current staff "were offered continued employment by the university." According to representatives of the Rose board, however, the measures are inadequate and were decided without the board's input (see update below).

According to the blog Art Fag City, current museum director Michael Rush and education director Emily Mello are both leaving the museum. According to the statement, Roy Dawes will assume the position of director of museum operations, Valerie Wright will assume the position of collections manager, and Karina Sheerin will continue as director for financial control, budgeting, and analysis.

The statement also says that the museum's current exhibitions will be extended until May 17 and that works from the permanent collection will go on view on July 22. Summer hours have not yet been announced.

"These plans were formulated in consultation with the Committee for the Future of the Rose to provide the necessary context in which its deliberations and recommendations can proceed," the statement said. The museum's long-term future is still unclear.

According to Time magazine, Rose board chairman Jon Lee sent to the board today a response to Brandeis's statement, arguing several of its points. He says that the decision to keep the museum open is not exactly the university's, but rather that "the Massachusetts Attorney General's office has insisted that Brandeis maintain the Rose Art Museum on some minimal status quo basis," and that the situation outlined in the statement amounts to as much.

The letter also says: "Please be aware that Director Michael Rush and administrator Jay Knox have not been asked to remain and their jobs will terminate in June. Education Director Emily Mello was asked to stay but she declined. Thus, the Rose has no director, no curator, no education director, no administrator, no funding stream and no program. Exhibitions close on May 17. The Provost says samplings of the permanent collection will go on view beginning July 22. Curated by whom we do not know."

Lee concludes that "just as before, when the January 26th decision was made to close the museum, we have not been consulted on this latest decision to 'keep it open' in the unacceptable and diminished way that it is."