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*UPDATED: Brandeis University to close art museum, sell collection

January 26, 2009 |  6:33 pm

Rose Art Museum at Brandeis Univ. On its website, Brandeis University's Rose Art Museum styles itself as "an outstanding collection of modern and contemporary art widely recognized as the finest of such collections in New England." Now you can color it gone -- the Boston Globe is reporting that Brandeis, a highly rated private school in Waltham, Mass., is going to close the museum this summer and sell off its collection of more than 6,000 art works.

Works by Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Willem de Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg are part of the cache that will come on the market as Brandeis strains to plug what's reported to be a budget deficit as high as $10 million.

President Jehuda Reinharz told the Globe: "This is not a happy day.... 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... given the recession and the financial crisis, we had no choice."

A major Brandeis donor, the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation, was hit hard by investing with financier Bernard Madoff, the alleged Ponzi-schemer. It had given more than $3 million to Brandeis in 2007, according to media reports.

*UPDATE: The Association of Art Museum Directors responded Tuesday morning to Brandeis decision:

"AAMD is shocked and dismayed to learn of Brandeis University's plans to close the Rose Art Museum and sell its collection. This is a sad day for the students of Brandeis, the University, and its community. The Rose Art Museum plays a vital role in bringing modern and contemporary art to the public and increasing understanding of the art of our time.  AAMD's mid-winter meeting begins tomorrow and its members will discuss the ramifications of Brandeis' decision and any actions the Association may take in response to these regrettable plans."

-- Mike Boehm

Photo: Rose Art Museum by redgoldfly

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