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Brandeis University pledges not to sell art from its Rose Museum collection

from the New England Journal of Aesthetic Research:

Brandeis University is pledging not to sell art from its Rose Museum’s extraordinary collection of 20th century art in a settlement with four overseers of the museum.

“From a legal point of view, they agree not to sell the art. They have no intention to sell the art,” says Jonathan Lee, who with Meryl Rose and Lois Foster sued the school in July 2009–Gerald Fineberg subsequently joined the plaintiffs–to halt Brandeis administrators’ plan, announced that January, to close the museum and sell its collection as the Waltham school faced financial problems.

“It is a statement saying we have no intention to sell the art,” says Frederick M. Lawrence, who began work as Brandeis’s president in January. He called it a “great day” for Brandeis and the Rose Museum.

“We do have a settlement,” Rose says. “It’s not a perfect agreement, but it basically says they’re not going to sell art. That’s the thing we were fighting for.”

Lee says the agreement goes beyond what they’d asked from Brandeis, which was just that it adhere to American museum standards for deaccessioning of art. And despite the 2009 threat from Brandeis leaders, the museum remains open (renovations are going on this summer) and the school says it didn’t end up selling any of the Rose collection between then and now.

Lawrence says, “I think the major thing was a focus on the future, not on the past.” He also notes that “the economic circumstances of Brandeis–and the whole world–are much different” from early days of the Great Recession that began nearly three years ago. Brandeis’s endowment has returned close to its all time high and the school’s budget is, though not completely free of challenges, at least stable, he says.

More here.