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A plan that would change the focus of the Busch-Reisinger Museum has aroused considerable opposition from both the Fine Arts and German Departments.
The plan, one of several options offered in the still-unreleased Preliminary Sub-Committee Report on Available Space in Harvard art museums, would shift the Busch's emphasis to contemporary art from its present survey approach.
Both faculty and graduate students are upset about their exclusion from the deliberations on the future direction of the museum. The report was drawn up by two members of the Overseers visiting committee to the art museums with the directors of the Busch and the Fogg.
Rosenfield said the decision-making power for such changes technically lies with the director of the Fogg, Daniel J. Robbins, in consultation with President Bok and the Fellows. "It would be unwise, however, if it is a unilateral decision," he added.
No forum has yet been established for the airing of all views, Rosenfield said.
Lawrence F. Stevens '65, secretary to the Visiting Committees of the Board of Overseers, said that he does not see any justification for the tumult. "The report is preliminary and just suggests alternatives to be discussed." He added that no action has been taken since the report was released in November to committee members and concerned Faculty members.
Much of the opposition to the changes has come from people who feel that their educational opportunities may be impinged upon if the Busch concentrates on contemporary art.
The departments' chairmen have cited possible conflicts between the original stipulations of the donors to the Busch and some of the other options in the report. Another suggestion is to make the Busch the repository for all of Harvard's 17th century Dutch art.
John M. Rosenfield, chairman of the Department of Fine Arts, said "Nothing bans the Busch from specializing, but to diminish the German emphasis violates the wishes of the donors, who wanted a Germanic museum.
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