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Rose Art Museum to close for renovations

Posted by Megan McKee  March 23, 2011 05:47 PM

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Brandeis University's Rose Art Museum will be undergoing major renovations that college officials say will protect the museum's acclaimed modern art collection for the long haul.

When the museum closes at the end of April, the shallow pond on the lower level will be removed, a new HVAC system will be installed, and new, energy-efficient glass will be replace the existing walls of glass on the front of the museum.

The museum will reopen in time for this fall's 50th anniversary celebration the museum's founding.

"The new HVAC system is desperately needed to improve the environment and protect the artwork...and the pond is always a problem for maintaining the correct humidity," said Director of Museum Operations Roy Dawes in a statement.

According to Brandeis, the renovations are being funded by university donors Sandra and Gerald S. Fineberg.

In addition to the energy and temperature-control upgrades, the Rose museum will get new ceilings, floors, and LED lighting system; the creation of a vestibule area; and the relocation of the reception desk and entryway wall.

"It's absolutely terrific," said Dawes. "The cleanliness of the lines will enhance the space and our ability to display artwork. The circulation of viewers through the space will be greatly improved and new display opportunities will be created."

Though the museum will temporarily close at the end of April, the Lois Foster Wing will remain open and accessible by a temporary entrance through mid-June.

Brandeis University officials drew widespread criticism from professors, students, alumni, and the art world when former President Jehuda Reinharz announced in Jan. 2009 plans to close the museum and sell of its 6,000 piece collection to help ease a multi-million dollar budget gap.

Months later, a university panel recommended the museum remain open.

Three Rose museum overseers brought a lawsuit against the university seeking to halt the sale of artwork. A hearing is planned for April, according to the New England Journal of Aesthetic Research.

Megan McKee can be reached at megan.mckee@gmail.com.

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