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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Hoping it’s not time for curtain call

Published: October 16, 2009
Section: Editorials

In honor of the release of a book chronicling The Rose Art Museum’s history and collection, the museum will unveil an exhibit of its permanent collection on Oct. 28.

In the midst of intense controversy, in which even the Massachusetts attorney general has become involved, the director of the Rose is reminding us all what the uproar was actually about when President Jehuda Reinharz announced in January that the Board of Trustees had approved the closing of the museum and the sale of the art.

The vault doors have been thrown open and the work for which the museum is famous will find itself in its rightful place on the walls of the Rose’s galleries. Modern art enthusiasts can only rejoice at the news that such important work will again be on display. And students on the Brandeis campus will only benefit from the opportunity to view these previously hidden canonical works of contemporary art.

That said, it is not time for museum defenders to breathe a sigh of relief. This exhibit should not be mistaken for a university pledge to return to a pre-Jan. 26 Rose Art Museum. Indeed, just two weeks after “The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis” catalogue was released, the university found itself in Suffolk Probate Court petitioning for the dismissal of a suit calling for an injunction to prevent the sale of the museum’s artwork. Clearly, the university has not abandoned the idea of selling a portion of the collection.

The Rose book is intended to commemorate the museum’s upcoming 50th anniversary in 2011. Let’s hope this forthcoming exhibition does not represent a final bow.