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Tuesday, June 18, 2024
Chazen addition open to students, faculty and staff

10212011 chazen

Chazen addition open to students, faculty and staff

After more than two years of construction, the new addition to the Chazen Museum of Art opened to UW-Madison students, staff and faculty Thursday.

Primary donors Simona and Jerome Chazen cut the ceremonial ribbon Thursday morning, and hundreds of students and staff flooded in to tour the museum's new addition.

UW-Madison Chancellor David Ward, who attended the ceremony, said the Chazen Museum of Art has become an ""anchor of the university community.""

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""People like to talk about out of classroom experience being indispensible to a university education,"" Ward said. ""This symbolizes that so wonderfully.""

Employees took visitors on tours of the three-story, 86,000 square foot building, leading them across the glass-windowed bridge that connects the two sections of the museum.

Overlooking East Campus Mall and Lake Mendota, the bridge offers ""one of the best views on campus,"" according to Chazen Director of Art Russell Panczenko.

The bridge connects the new addition with the old building from 1970, making them ""one harmonious, continuing building,"" he said.

The museum now has 44,500 square feet of gallery space to display artwork. The gallery space in the new addition will be used for both permanent and temporary exhibits.

Current featured exhibits in the museum include a collection of watercolor paintings by artist Sean Scully, pieces from the Chazens' personal collection, and works from the collection of Leslie and Johanna Garfield, who have collected art for over six decades.

The addition also includes a 160-seat auditorium and two spaces for students and the public to study art, an opportunity Panczenko said students did not previously have. He said staff had to take students to the storage area to study art in the old building.

The Chazens, who donated $25 million of the $43 million total project cost, said they were happy to contribute because of the important role the arts play on campus.

""Art is the defining measure of the importance of any civilization. It never gets enough play as were living our lives day to day,"" Jerome Chazen said. ""People worry about economics and all these other things it takes people to live, but art is what lasts.""

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