Want Your Own Warhol?

j0439010You may be in luck.  Madoff scandal victim Brandeis University is closing down its Rose Art Museum late this summer and selling thousands of works by artists like Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Nam June Paik, James Rosenquist, and Roy Lichtenstein.  In addition to its collections, the Rose hosts public programs, live jazz on the second Sunday each month, and random lunchtime string quartet performances.  Today’s Boston Globe reports the museum’s closure and art sale, which understandably angers donors and their families, will create funds to reinvest elsewhere at the university.

“This is not a happy day in the history of Brandeis,” [Brandeis President Jehuda] Reinharz said last night. “The Rose is a jewel. But for the most part it’s a hidden jewel. It does not have great foot traffic, and most of the great works we have, we are just not able to exhibit. We felt that, at this point given the recession and the financial crisis, we had no choice.”

I don’t know about you, but I find this depressing as heck.  Rhode Island universities, please don’t follow suit.

4 thoughts on “Want Your Own Warhol?”

  1. Annie Messier

    Thanks for the info, Matthew. Last I heard (early this morning), Brandeis is leaning towards NOT selling the art, which is worth about $350 million, yet remains steadfast in closing the museum. Yay, gathering dust in a warehouse instead of displaying it–the true intention of art.

  2. matthew lawrence

    It didn’t occur to me until I read it somewhere else, but probably the reason they’d have to close the museum (as opposed to just getting rid of a couple of big-ticket pieces) is because the museum’s probably founded in a way where money from art sales would have to go directly back into the museum. Which you might want to do when the art market’s hot, but not, you know, right now.

    There’s a Facebook group with lots of info about letters you can write and people you can call and whatnot.

  3. Such bullshit. Art sale at firesale prices! Watch it disappear to far away lands at deep discounts. Bid early, and often, so we can keep our facilities open!..

    Hey wait a minute, maybe this is just a piece of conceptual art in and of itself. It could be the idea is two fold, firstly they’d like to explore just how much the local arts community, donors, board members and staff will put up with while Brandies pretends to auction off their entire collection. Then they won’t actually sell any art, they’ll collect the money from potential buyers and keep it as part of the actual installation/work. They’ll achieve this by slipping some unintelligeable legalese in the sales “contracts” (to be archived at a later date) that negates the “sale” as soon as the funds (also to be “archived” somewhere under the President’s mattress) change hands reverting ownership back to the musem. I hear they’re asking Bernie Madoff to function as guest curator while he’s out on bail. It’ll work out great.

    Hey, one can dream right?

  4. I went to Brandeis and used to work in the Rose Art Museum. This is just tragic.

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