Depressing News

May 17, 2009

The Virginia Quarterly Review blog recently announced the demise of several important U.S. literary reviews. Literary and book culture blogger Nancy Rawlinson has the story at the MFA Blog and on her blog Boolah.

In related (sad) news, I was reading in last month’s Art Forum that Brandeis University’s Rose Art Museum collection, a well-respected art collection used for both teaching and research will be auctioned off thanks to the hasty decision of its trustees and the university president, the excuse being that it doesn’t get enough foot traffic, the university needs the income, and the arts are of course “frills” after all.

As the author of the original piece in the Virginia Quarterly Review blog says, these institutions would not be what they are — they wouldn’t necessarily garner the same strong reviews or wide-spread respect if it wasn’t for their vibrant art collections, university presses and literary journals. The decision to put these on the chopping block so seemingly fast makes one wonder if the economic crisis is just a feeble excuse to do away with them and cash in in the case of the Rose Art Museum.