The Rose Art Museum. Image via: Red Goldfly
Greg Cook isn’t reporting good news on the strength of the Rose Museum’s suit. The museum’s latest legal actions are intended to prevent Brandeis University from selling its art, and keep the Rose a fully functioning museum. According to the blogger, the 12-page suit, plus supporting documents such as wills, letters, and donation letters, offers the following as its strongest argument:
…[A] Aug. 13, 1968, letter from the museum's founding donor Edward Rose to Brandeis University, announcing his gift of $1,000 to establish the Bertha C. and Edward Rose Museum Endowment Fund A, with its “income only to be used to acquire additions to the collection” of the Rose Museum. “Net proceeds of sale of items from the Museum collection shall be treated in the same way as income from said Endowment Fund unless prohibited by the terms under which the items were acquired.” At the bottom, the letter reads “The foregoing is agreed to: Brandeis University” and signed by then president Abram L. Sachar.
In other words, there’s one sentence in this letter that says Brandeis can only sell works from the collection to acquire new work for the museum, and according to Culturegrrl the university may try to argue that this stipulation only governs the sale of art acquired with the original funds donated by the founders. I have to be honest—I don’t like the sound of this.