Rose Art Museum Introduces Fund for Emerging Artists

Christopher Bedford, director of Brandeis University’s Rose Art Museum, announced today that the institution has launched the Sam Hunter Emerging Artists Fund. Named in honor of the museum’s founding director, the fund was created to carry on his legacy of supporting promising artists who have not yet received widespread recognition.

In the 1960s, a $50,000 gift to the institution allowed Hunter to add to the Rose’s collection. He decided to limit his purchases to $5,000 per work. With the self-imposed cap, he acquired works by Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenburg, Roy Lichtenstein, Jim Dine, Ellsworth Kelly, and Marisol, among others.

Following Hunter’s example, the museum’s search committee has also set a cap for purchasing artworks to encourage the acquisition of works by emerging artists. The maximum spending amount was not revealed. Bedford said that “The committee is a fun, experimental exercise in institutional collecting. Committee members, each contributing a small sum to a collective pot, met monthly to discuss work by artists of interest, and eventually selected an artist who they believed to be the most promising of the group, and the best fit for the Rose collection. We are grateful to our committee members–Rena Conti, Kim Allen-Niesen, Leslie Aronzon, Manuel De Santaren, Tory Fair, Tony Ganz, Matthew Kozol, Liz Krupp, Dianne Markman, Betsy Pfau,
Tim Phillips, Meryl Rose, 
Ann Tanenbaum, and Ruth Zachary.”

The museum also announced the acquisition of the fund’s first artwork—MA 636 a2 by American painter David Schutter. The artist is a professor in the department of visual arts at the University of Chicago and a recipient of the 2015 Rome Prize, awarded by the American Academy in Rome.