Rose director search renewed after summer
Published: Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Updated: Monday, October 10, 2011 19:10
The University has begun to search in earnest for a new director of the Rose Art Museum following a settlement of the Rose lawsuit this summer, Director of the Office of the Arts Scott Edmiston announced at the faculty meeting last Thursday.
The Rose has not had an official director since 2009, when the University did not renew former Director Michael Rush's contract. Since Rush's exit, Director of Operations Roy Dawes has filled the role.
Edmiston, who is also the chair of the search committee, explained at the faculty meeting that former Provost Marty Krauss asked him to chair the committee for a new director in 2010 but that the committee's "hands were tied" until final decisions were made regarding sales of the artwork.
In January 2009, in the midst of the University's financial crisis, then-University President Jehuda Reinharz and the Board of Trustees voted to close the museum and sell all artwork. This decision induced a controversial reaction that ultimately resulted in a lawsuit filed by Meryl Rose, Jonathan Lee, Lois Foster and Gerald Fineberg, all members of the Rose Board of Overseers.
University President Frederick Lawrence and the plaintiffs settled the lawsuit this summer with the stipulations that the museum will remain open to the public; be professionally staffed and committed to "collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting fine art;" hire a director with expertise in modern and contemporary art; and that the University will have no plans or intent to sell of any of the artwork, according to the settlement agreement.
"Happily, President Lawrence brought that chapter to a close last summer, and we began our search," Edmiston said at the meeting.
The goal of the search is to "restore the arts to a place of confidence with the University's identity," said Edmiston. "I see the search as being not just another staff hire. I believe it is a symbolic step forward … [in] reclaiming our place as a beacon for art and culture," he told the faculty.
According to BrandeisNOW, the committee is composed of 13 members, including two students, Meryl Feinstein '12 and Rebecca Ulm '11; a graduate student in Studio Art; three staff members; Vice President for Planning and Institutional Research Daniel Feldman; Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Michaele Whelan; Amy Silberstein of the Office of Development and Alumni Relations; three faculty members: Prof. Jonathan Unglaub (FA); Prof. Susan Lichtman (FA); John Lisman (BIOL); and Robin Feuer Miller, the Edytha Macy Gross Professor of Humanities. Stephen J. Reiner '61, a member of the board of trustees and chairman of the board of overseers, and Lois Foster, a member of the Rose Board of Overseers, are also serving on the committee, as is Jock Reynolds, an artist and the Henry J. Heinz II Director of the Yale University Art Gallery.
The committee also has an advisory board consisting of alumni prominent in the arts world, including Gary Tinterow '76, curator of 19th-century, modern and contemporary art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Kim Rorschach '78, director of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University; and Adam Weinberg '77, director of the Whitney Museum of American Art.
—Andrew Wingens contributed reporting.