February 11, 2009

Art lovers vow to keep museum open

Friends of Brandeis University's Rose Art Museum vowed to keep the museum stocked and open after the university said it would close because of financial woes.

Nearly 300 people -- including students, professors, members of the community and Waltham Mayor Jeanette McCarthy -- attended a town meeting Tuesday to discuss how to save the collection from being sold and keep the museum open, The Boston Globe reported Wednesday.

Last week Brandeis University Jehuda Reinharz apologized for the abrupt way in which the school administration decided to close the museum and sell some of its holdings to raise funds for the financially strapped university.

Reinharz said the Rose will be open for academic purposes, although eventually it would not be a public museum. He also said only a small number of artworks would be sold, only if necessary.

Among the nearly 7,000 works at the Rose are paintings by Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, Henri Matisse, and Andy Warhol.

Ramie Targoff, an English professor at Brandeis, said everyone in this room will see that it is a sacred spot for many people in our community.

McCarthy spoke about the importance of the museum to the city of Waltham, saying that art is a priority and that it would be terrible for it to go.