Brandeis University’s Rose Art Museum has opened an offsite gallery in an empty commercial space in downtown Waltham, Massachusetts, the Boston suburb that the Rose calls home.
Named Rosebud, the gallery will showcase video work from the museum’s collection and, according to a news release, aims to “activate public engagement with contemporary art through curated exhibitions and programs that revive underutilized properties in the city of Waltham.”
“I don’t think there was ever an actual direction historically for the museum to become a civic resource,” the Rose’s director, Chris Bedford, said in a telephone interview, when asked about the Citizen Kane–referencing name. “Rosebud is a way to indicate that idea’s genesis.”
Bedford elaborated on those plans, saying that “the intention is to make it an integrated arts space, available for performances, poetry readings, performance art—really anything that requires a space.”
To jumpstart this process, the Rose’s curatorial interns, along with the Student Committee of the Rose Art Museum, will provide programming that is intended to draw the university community and the broader public. Rosebud’s opening film is South African artist William Kentridge’s 2003 short animation work, Tide Table. The work forms part of Kentridge’s 9 Drawings for Projection, a series of charcoal animated allegorical narratives that delve, dreamlike, into apartheid and its lingering grip on society.
Rosebud comes as other American art museums have sought to broaden their reach. In Los Angeles, the Hammer Museum recently partnered with the Art+Practice alternative space to collaborate on programming and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has provided support for the late Noah Davis’s Underground Museum.
“The hope is that we become fully integrated into Waltham,” said Bedford, “so that in the future there’ll be an impetus within the community to come to us with programming, as we will have already gone to them.”