Saturday, January 31, 2009

Brandeis Donors Vow to Fight Sale of Artwork

The Nonprofit Law Blog reports that Brandeis Donors, incensed at the fire-sale, are vowing to fight the sale of the Rose Art Museum's artworks.

The January 28, 2009, issues of the Chronicle of Higher Education and The Boston Globe report that upset Brandeis University donors are looking at ways to stop the university's planned sale of artwork to cover university losses as a result of the economic downturn and the Bernard Madoff scandal. Here is an excerpt from the CHE article:

The decision has raised complicated legal questions over donor intent and the university’s use of money given to the museum and of the donated artwork, especially restricted donations that require the art to be publicly shown.

“Had I had any idea when I donated work that there was a chance they would be sold to benefit the university, I never would have donated them,” Jonathan Novak, a museum overseer and Brandeis graduate who has donated money and art to the museum, told the newspaper.

On a related note, Donn Zaretsky has almost convinced me that the deaccessioning police caused the Rose Art Museum's fire-sale. I'm laying low on this one. Too many chefs in a very small kitchen. My only prediction, based on a deaccession model, is that Brandeis will be worse off if they heed the threats of these so-called "donors."

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