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The Rose Row: Judge Allows Court Case Against Brandeis Art Sales to Continue

Dana Schutz, “How We Would Drive,” 2007, purchased with funds from the Rose Purchase Fund Endowment and funds
from the Rose Museum Board of Overseers (image courtesy of Zach Feuer

This just in from the Boston Globe:

A Suffolk Probate Court judge denied yesterday a motion [by Brandeis University] to dismiss a
lawsuit filed by three members of the Rose Art Museum’s board of
overseers to prevent Brandeis University from closing the museum and
selling the artwork, said Edward Terry Dangel, attorney for the

At the hearing, the university agreed it would not sell any
of the artwork donated by the plaintiffs, prominent museum benefactors
Meryl Rose, Jonathan Lee, and Lois Foster. Brandeis also agreed to give
the attorney general a 30-day notice and an opportunity for review if
it decides to sell any artwork donated by others.

But what about artworks that were not donated but purchased, including works bought with funds donated by the museum’s founder, Edward Rose? A number of purchased works, including the Schutz pictured above, which will be displayed at the museum’s special exhibition opening later this month.

The longer account of the legal developments in the university’s student newspaper, The Justice, includes comment from the state attorney general’s office that the plaintiffs will be allowed by the judge to argue why “their gifts to the Rose should be returned to them [rather than sold] under theories known as equitable reversion and fraud.”

While the court sorts all this out, a “celebration of the Rose Art Museum’s permanent [or not] collection” goes on display there Oct. 28, in celebration of the new Abrams-published “permanent” collection catalogue, authored by Brandeis non-person Michael Rush, the Rose’s deposed director. Rush had strongly opposed the university’s previously announced plans (now being rethought) to close the museum and sell the art.

an ArtsJournal blog