Brandeis University will close its Rose Art Museum this summer and sell off about 6,000 pieces from its collection. The museum, which opened in 1961, has suffered from a drop in its endowment in this economic downturn, exacerbated by the machinations of alleged fraudster, investment broker Bernard Madoff.
Mark Williams, a Boston University senior lecturer specializing in risk management, said, “It’s like a one-two-three punch: the economy tanks, they overbuilt at the peak of the market and their largest donor was hit dramatically by the Madoff scandal.”
The museum’s contemporary art holdings include works by Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Morris Louis, James Rosenquist, Andy Warhol, Marsden Hartley, Thomas Hart Benton, Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Rauschenberg, Matthew Barney, Helen Frankenthaler, Nan Goldin, Robert Motherwell, Max Ernst, René Magritte, Anri Sala, Richard Serra, Cindy Sherman, Kiki Smith, and Jackie Windsor.
According to Michael Rush, Museum Director, the collection is valued at around 350 million dollars.
Brandeis to Close Rose Art Museum as Endowment Slips (Bloomberg.com; January 27, 2009)
Hit by economic slump, US university to sell prized art collection (AFP; January 27, 2009)