Evening of art, music, joy hails reopening of Rose
President Lawrence declares 'a new beginning' for renowned collection
Applause echoed through the new and improved building Thursday night as Director of Operations Roy Dawes welcomed several hundred guests “back to the Rose Art Museum.”
Guests gathered around the central staircase and leaned over railings to hear words of relief and encouragement from Dawes and President Fred Lawrence, part of an intense night of appreciation of the Rose’s famed collection of modern art and celebration of the museum’s reopening after a $1.7 million renovation.
The Rose celebrated its 50th anniversary, renovation and reopening with three new exhibits.
Dawes recalled when Lawrence was preparing to take the helm of the university, he “lifted a weight off my shoulders” when he said that “a museum on a college campus is a sacred trust.” The story elicited strong applause and few cries of “hear, hear.”
“This is a story with a happy ending,” Lawrence said, then corrected himself. “It’s a story of a new beginning.
“If any one of these works were being exhibited in cities around the world, you’d stand in line to see it,” he added, paying homage to the quality of the Rose’s collection.
Guests wandered in and out between the celebratory tent on the lawn, where food and drink were being served, to the museum, where a DJ spun records throughout the evening.
Having never seen the Rose before, Eve Herman ’15 studied each piece of art with wide eyes. An artist herself, she said that thanks to what she has learned in in Professor Peter Kalb’s “Reinvention of Art” course this semester, she appreciated how well curated the new exhibits were.
“I also went to James Rosenquist’s talk this afternoon,” she said, referring to the pop artist who returned for the anniversary and reopening after a long association with the museum. His “Two 1959 People” was one of the museum’s early purchases and is currently on display. “He’s a really famous artist and I’m glad I was able to be a part of that.”
Marya Levenson, director of the education program at Brandeis, spoke of how much she enjoyed the festivity around the museum.
“It’s such a pleasure to see the art with the music and the crowd,” she said. “There’s such a great, rich history of art here and it all belongs to this place.”
Her colleague Eileen Kell, also of the education department, shared her enthusiasm for the history on display.
“There are catalogs here, articles from a 1963 Mademoiselle” magazine, she said. “That’s a big whoopin’ deal!”