In the wake of the happy ending to the lawsuit to preserve Brandeis University’s Rose Art Museum, Hub Review editor-in-chief Thomas Garvey and New England Journal of Aesthetic Research custodian Greg Cook have been discussing what the hell happened. And Garvey has kindly posted their exchange for our readers’ general edification here.
In it, Garvey notes, “that the donor community at large may have ultimately had more influence over the administration than the arts community alone. … Selling off the Rose collection betrayed and insulted the trust and intentions of precisely the kind of donors the university was simultaneously trying to woo!” And Cook says, “I keep thinking that the old Brandeis president, head finance guy, etc., might still have those jobs at Brandeis if they hadn’t targeted the Rose. Look at all the other schools–including Harvard–that suffered major financial losses in the Great Recession. Pretty much all of their administrators remain in place. It seems Brandeis leaders didn’t piss people off with their (mis)management of the school’s finances — but going after the Rose seemed to turn the tide against them.” And, most shockingly, Garvey admits that he may have made an error.