Saturday, August 29, 2009

Is Brandeis (smartly) Preparing for a Legal Battle?

Brandeis University's newspaper, The Brandeis Hoot, wonders if the university has taken a more aggressive approach to defending a lawsuit filed by three Rose Art Museum benefactors against the university.

The university’s approach towards opponents of its reconfiguration of the Rose Art Museum has taken a turn from conciliatory to combative, most recently marked by the hiring of former Massachusetts State Attorney General Tom Reilly to serve as outside legal council in a lawsuit filled by three Rose Art Museum benefactors against the university.

I'm not sure why hiring an attorney with ample litigation exprience is "harsher" or "combative." In fact, one could argue that Brandeis is simply acknowledging their legal and ethical duties to the university, board members, professors, staff, community, and its students. This is echoed by university Provost Marty Krauss:

“That is, that the University has a responsibility to provide the very best education and faculty to fulfill its higher educational agenda. Apparently, these three overseers are oblivious to the Brandeis mission.”

The Hoot does index another viable possibility for hiring this "combative" attorney:

The university’s decision to hire Reilly, therefore, could indicate a fear that the Rose plaintiffs are less likely to settle than Sumner Kalman, who told The Hoot he was not interested in a long legal battle. It could also indicate that the university believes any negotiation with the Rose plaintiffs would be more complicated, and would require a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of Massachusetts State laws, such as a former attorney general.

Very true. And all signs of smart lawyering!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Whitney Museum Axes Eight Employees

According to Artinfo:

Eight full- and part-time positions were eliminated at the Whitney, including a major gifts officer, a senior lecturer in education, and an adjunct curator of architecture.

and according to Crains:

Arts and culture staffing firm Thomas & Associates has been engaged to help with outplacement services for the former Whitney employees.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

NY State Board of Regents Issues Proposed Final Regulations

The NY State Board of Regents has just come out with its proposed permanent amendment that would govern the deaccessioning practices of museums and historical societies chartered by the board. Keep in mind that if passed, the Brodsky Bill would affect the deaccessioning practices of all New York State museums.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cleveland Museum of Art Eliminates 14 Jobs

The Cleveland Museum of Art, pressed by a plunge in the value of its endowment, eliminated jobs held by fourteen employees this week and decided to leave another eight positions vacant.

More from Artforum here.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

"It is the people at the top who deserve the most opprobrium."

Artnet's Ben Davis has just written The Museum Bubble, a detailed analysis on the financial troubles faced by museums and art institutions. Davis' scathing analysis points the finger at the "art bureaucrats at the top, those pious guardians of our nonprofit castles of culture."

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Supreme Judicial Court Won't Hear Suit Against Brandeis

Just in from The Boston Herald:

The Supreme Judicial Court won’t hear the lawsuit filed by three top Rose Art Museum patrons against Brandeis University over its decision to close the Waltham cultural site and sell off some $350 million of art. The SJC transferred the case to the Suffolk probate court.