ArtBeat

Luis A. Croquer
Mike Lovett
Luis A. Croquer

In July, Luis A. Croquer became the Henry and Lois Foster Director of the Rose Art Museum, replacing Christopher Bedford, now the director of the Baltimore Museum of Art. An El Salvador native who has lived and worked around the world, Croquer will lead all artistic and programming initiatives at the Rose as well as the museum’s management. Previously, he was deputy director of exhibitions, collections and programs at the University of Washington’s Henry Art Gallery, in Seattle. Earlier in his career, he served as director and chief curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.

The Rose Art Museum’s fall exhibitions pack plenty of visual and emotional punch. The work of New York City painter Joe Bradley is showcased in his first large-scale North American museum show. In a companion exhibition, titled “Joe Bradley Selects,” the artist hand-picks an assortment of treasures from the Rose’s collection. New paintings by Kevork Mourad explore the destructive winds of war in his homeland, Syria. A video by John Akomfrah, “Auto Da Fé,” looks at scenes from eight migrations forced by religious persecution. And Tony Lewis, who examines relationships among language, memory and race, is creating a site-specific mural for the Foster Stairwell that will remain on view throughout the academic year.

Mitch Albom ’79 penned a new afterword for the 20th-anniversary edition of “Tuesdays With Morrie,” his best-selling memoir about Brandeis sociology professor Morrie Schwartz, who succumbed to ALS in 1995 at age 78. “Deep inside, it was not dying that truly rattled Morrie,” Albom writes in the afterword. “It was being forgotten.” He also recently wrote a moving 13,000-word article, published by the Detroit Free Press in June, about an indomitable 7-year-old Haitian orphan named Chika, whom Albom and his wife fostered for two years until Chika’s death in April from brain cancer.

Aida Yuen Wong, chair of fine arts, curated the Tuvalu pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale. The pavilion features an installation by Taiwanese-born artist Vincent J.F. Huang titled “Climate Canary,” inspired by the devastating effects climate change will have on places like Venice and Tuvalu, a small Pacific Island nation.

“Batman & Bill,” a Hulu documentary, spotlights efforts by Marc Tyler Nobleman ’94 to correct the historical record and restore writer Bill Finger to his rightful place as Batman’s co-creator. As the film details, comic-book artist Bob Kane wanted to be known as the superhero’s only architect, and tried to obscure Finger’s significant role in defining Batman and many other Gotham City characters. “It became a crusade,” Nobleman says in the film, “getting Bill’s name on Batman.”

The Brandeis University Press volume “Oriental Neighbors: Middle Eastern Jews and Arabs in Mandatory Palestine,” by Abigail Jacobson and Moshe Naor, received the Association for Israel Studies’ Shapiro Prize for best book in Israel studies. Part of the Schusterman Series in Israel Studies, “Oriental Neighbors” studies the relationship Jews of Middle Eastern descent forged with their Arab neighbors from the 1920s to the 1940s.

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