The Chazen Museum of Art opened in 1970 as the Elvehjem Art Center to further the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s mission of education, research, and public service. In 1978 it became the Elvehjem Museum of Art, and in 2005, in honor of a lead gift toward expansion, was renamed the Chazen Museum of Art. The expansion opened in October, 2011, doubling the size of the museum. The new building is joined to the Conrad A. Elvehjem building by a dramatic and functional bridge gallery. The Elvehjem Building is dedicated to the memory of the president of the UW–Madison from 1958 to 1962. The Chazen is a division of the College of Letters and Science at the UW–Madison.
The Chazen is home to the second-largest collection of art in Wisconsin: more than 20,000 works include paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, photographs, and decorative arts. The permanent collection covers diverse historical periods, cultures, and geographic locations, from ancient Greece, Western Europe, and the Soviet Empire, to Moghul India, eighteenth-century Japan, and modern Africa. The collection continues to grow thanks to artwork donations and purchases.
The museum also presents frequent temporary exhibitions that highlight the collection or are borrowed from other museums, broadening the offerings to visitors. These temporary exhibitions may be local, national, or international, contemporary or historical in scope.
As a state educational resource, the Chazen offers tours, talks by artists and scholars, and other educational programs and outreach for schoolchildren, college students, and art lovers of all ages. Special events include exhibition receptions, family days, gallery nights, Sunday Afternoon Live from the Chazen, and Sunday Cinematheque at the Chazen. These offerings are free and open to the public. [source]