Rose to reopen after summer renovations
Published: Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 17:10
This Thursday at 5 p.m., the Rose Art Museum will officially present its opening exhibitions of the season and welcome students, faculty and community members alike to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the museum. The three exhibitions, "Art at the Origin," "Collecting Stories" and "Bruce Conner: EVE-RAY-FOREVER (1965/2006)" will feature some of the museum's most prominent pieces structured around the history, present and future of the Rose and convey how much significant art history has come through the museum over the years.
"Art at the Origin: the Early Sixties" takes viewers back to the beginnings of the Rose Art Museum. Taking place in the newly renovated Gerald S. and Sandra Fineberg Galleries, the exhibit will connect the physical location of the Rose's beginnings to the historic first pieces that the original director, Sam Hunter, bought with the $50,000 grant given by Leon Mnuchin and his wife Harriet Gevirtz-Mnuchin. Showing 17 of the 21 pieces, all collected in 1961 and 1962, "Art at the Origin" will capture the legacy of the Rose Art Museum. It just so happens that those 17 pieces are also among the most prominent pieces in the world of modern art—by Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol.
"Collecting Stories" takes viewers on a chronological tale through the progression of the past 50 years, highlighting major acquisitions and exhibitions throughout the Rose's history. Beginning with a piece from the inaugural exhibition and ending with two pieces that recognize the recent struggles and present state of the museum, each piece is extremely significant and has an attached story explaining its importance. "The exhibitions provide a contrast between the past and the future," Warner Curatorial Intern Meryl Feinstein '12 said in an interview with the Justice. "It acknowledges recent negative experiences while also working toward a new positive direction. We want to show that the Rose Art Museum has become a beacon of artistic hope and that finally, and most importantly, it has reopened the educational dialogue between the Brandeis community and this fantastic collection," she said.
Also new to the Rose is "EVE-RAY-FOREVER (1965/2006)," the newly reacquired film installation originally shown at the Rose during the late Bruce Connor's first major museum exhibition in 1965. A controversial triptych consisting of three black-and-white silent films, Connor recreated the piece over the years after the original film footage was cut up and used in different contexts for his works. As one of the first significant pieces of video art, the piece reaffirms the Rose Art Museum's position as one of the leading modern art museums in the Northeast.
The new exhibitions are not the only new and exciting updates to the museum this fall. Over the summer and into the first months of fall, the Rose went through a $1.7-million renovation to breathe new life into both the physical structure of the museum and the vision of the arts at Brandeis. The purpose of the changes is to open up the space of the museum and also to create a safe environment to preserve the priceless pieces.
According to Ingrid Schorr, associate director of the Office of the Arts, "this [50th anniversary] yearlong celebration is a significant chapter in the ongoing story of the Rose and of the arts at Brandeis."
With such great exhibitions on display, the opening event is attracting many big-name attendees. Famed Pop artist Jim Rosenquist, who canceled a show in the Rose last fall, will be on campus Thursday to attend the opening and give a talk from 2 to 3 p.m.; University President Frederick Lawrence will be giving his remarks on the 50th anniversary at 6:30 p.m. Thursday evening; and on Nov. 1, Sam Jury, a young British photographer and filmmaker who will have an exhibit at the Rose this coming year, will be speaking.
The event marks a reassurance of Rose's future. Many trustees who voted to close the Rose two years ago, as well as other invited guests, will gather at the museum on Wednesday for an evening of art that will include a dialogue between two of the louder people in the debate about of the Rose's announced closing—Brandeis alum and Whitney Museum of American Art Director Adam Weinberg '77 and Rosenquist. The two previously opposing sides will come together, out of appreciation for the artwork and unite in the future vision of the Rose.
"Everybody is very positive thinking right now, there is a real excitement, amongst the President of the University, the administration, the faculty," Feinstein said. "We're really hoping … that we will reinstate that mission of reuniting education and art—a rejuvenation of what the Rose is supposed to be at Brandeis. It's not just the Rose, it's the Rose at Brandeis. This week marks the beginning of a great future."