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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Chazen director to retire after 33 years in June

The Chazen Museum of Art will lose someone who’s been a fixture for 33 years with the retirement of Director Russell Panczenko, who is leaving June 30, according to a UW-Madison news release.

Along with holding the director position, he also served as chief curator since 1984. He expanded the collection at the museum from approximately 12,000 items to more than 21,000 that are held there currently, according to the release.

The museum was named the Elvehjem Museum of Art upon Panczenko’s arrival. In 2011 he oversaw a $43 million expansion of the building, which he renamed after Simona and Jerome A. Chazen, the main donors of the funds. The remodel doubled gallery space and added storage areas and study rooms.

“The highlight of my time at Madison is obviously the building, but not just the building, because ultimately, it’s not about a building; it’s about what’s in the building,” Panczenko said in the release.

University Relations Specialist Käri Knutson said a search and screen committee is being formed to choose the next Chazen Museum of Art director. They are currently accepting nominations.

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