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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Rose Art Museum grants to support 2015 exhibition and new curator of academic projects

Published: September 19, 2014
Section: Arts, Etc.

The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis has received two grants, each worth $100,000, from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, marking the first time the museum has received a grant from either organization. “They are among a handful of the most prestigious visual arts focused foundations in the world,” said Director of the Rose Christopher Bedford.

These grants were not just presented to the Rose. Bedford says that the Warhol Foundation and the Mellon Foundation were both among a group of about five institutions on which the museum was really focused when applying for grants. To apply, the themes of the proposed exhibits must match the ideals of the institutions that may donate money.

Bedford said that he started with a database of institutions. “Every foundation has a mission statement and a set of criteria that govern the way they fund,” he said, “so you look through that list relative to your end initiative, try to find a match … then you make the application.”

“What I’ve learned in my career is that if you reach for the point of intersection between the foundation and the projects, then it’s unlikely to get funded, but when it feels right, that’s the one you should pursue.”

The donations from each foundation suggest that they both will be supportive of future endeavors at the Rose Art Museum. Bedford noted that after a level of trust has been established between a foundation and the museum, it is more likely that the foundation will support various projects. “[The grants are] an enormous vote of confidence in the institution,” Bedford said, “and the administration of the university, and the museum’s future.”

The grant from the Warhol Foundation will support an exhibition that will debut in the fall of 2015. It will be a survey of about 25 years of the work of Lisa Yuskavage, an American contemporary visual artist. The exhibition is titled “Lisa Yusakavage: The Brood.” Yusakavage is well-known for her female form-centered figurative oil paintings. Bedford noted that the exhibitions for the fall of 2015 are the most ambitious that they have pursued since he began working there.

“In the case of the Mellon Foundation, that is very specifically program money that is intended to link the university in all of its facets to the museum,” said Bedford. To aid this endeavor, the Rose will be hiring a curator of academic projects, who will directly be involved in this integration. Applications are currently being sorted, and the position should be filled by January 2015.

“The money that we have from both foundations will allow us to expand our reach through education and our programs much further than we would have been able to otherwise.”
Michelle Kim contributed to this article.