Monday, February 2, 2009

Brandeis Closing their Art Museum

Editor's Note: I wrote this last week and it still pisses me off. Just a lame-ass decision made by donkeys. Needed to get this up...

I don’t know how many you have heard this but on Monday Brandeis University announced they were shutting down their art museum and selling off their entire collection to add funds to their endowment due to the economic climate which the nation is currently in. It disgusts me that an institution with a reputation like Brandeis (pretty solid, gets well-off students, has a nice campus, produces a population of decent people) would produce such a small-minded and shortsighted “solution.” Their collection is valued upwards of $350million (which isn’t bad starting pay), but, seriously. It’s just extremely troubling that a school would consider shutting down a substantial gallery just to make a few dollars. Clearly they’ve lost a substantial chunk of their endowment and I’ve heard a significant number of their usual donors were caught up in the Bernie Madoff scandal, but still. It is a terrible market to be selling art. But I guess what I find most troubling is they are viewing art as just $$. No cultural or historical significance, no educational significance, these works are just assets. Needless to say the museum director is furious and many of the folks who donated works are planning to head to court to fight the sales but I will be very interested to see how this all plays out. I really hope this is not the start of a trend. If some colleges purchased their galleries just for investment pieces then that’s very, very scary to me. Art should mean more than that. This response was prompted by Batesie Nichole who is quite an art buff and who showed me the article and also “Ms.” Melissa Perkins whose art class I hung out in throughout high school. I had more to say on Tuesday but this is all I have now...I'm running out of steam it's been a long week all around. Cheers.

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