College and Museum Groups Weigh in on Brandeis

January 30, 2009 at 8:58 PM Leave a comment

The College Art Association, the Association of Art Museum Curators, the American Association of Museums, and a group of contemporary art museum directors have all released statements in protest of the Museum closing and collection sale.

From CAA: “According to news reports, neither Brandeis University nor the Rose Art Museum is on the brink of economic collapse, nor are they unable to maintain the collections. Given that no clear explanation has been offered on the school’s financial exigencies, the closure of the Rose Art Museum and the sale of its collection appear to be in violation of professional museum standards and of academic transparency and due process; the decision also demonstrates a lack of academic responsibility and fiduciary foresight. We appeal to the Trustees of Brandeis to revisit and reverse their decision.”

From AAMC: “The decision to regard the collection of the museum as an asset rather than as a wealth of ideas in physical form was made without consultation of all the most important parties.”

From the AAM: “If it cannot afford to maintain and exhibit its collection, we urge Brandeis University to seek another steward of it. There are many fine museums in the region capable of caring for these works, even on a temporary basis, while the university explores other options”

From the museum directors: “This decision violates every rule of ethics and responsible governance adopted by museums across the country, and it is all the more reprehensible that this decision was reached through a process that lacked candor and transparency…  The Rose itself was not in financial dire straits, so it is unconscionable that the University would identify it as an expendable resource given the limited stake Brandeis maintained in its operation and given its demonstrated ability to stand on its own at a time of financial instability.”

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