Monday, July 27, 2009

Rose Suit (UPDATED)

The NYT's Randy Kennedy reports that "three overseers of the Rose Art Museum filed suit Monday in state court in Massachusetts, seeking to halt Brandeis University's plans to close the museum and clear the way to sell some of its work."

I haven't read the complaint yet (you can do so here), but keep in mind that the latest version of the plan is not to "close" the Rose but instead to turn it into "a teaching and exhibition gallery." A faculty-student-trustee committee has been formed to figure out how that might best be accomplished. In fact, this weekend brought reports that the museum had "reopened" with an exhibition featuring the paintings of Alfred Jensen. So, right off the bat, a lawsuit seeking to prevent Brandeis from closing the museum would seem to face the problem that it isn't closing the museum.

UPDATE: Paddy Johnson calls me "famously deaccession-friendly" and says I have "predictably" taken the position that, since the university is not closing the museum, "the suit has no merit." I did not say the suit has no merit. Indeed, I said I hadn't even read the complaint (still haven't). All I did was pass along the observation that, for a suit that (as Paddy characterizes it) aims "to halt closure of Brandeis University’s museum," it's something of a problem that there is no plan to close the museum.