Madison’s Oldest Art Museum: Discover the Chazen!
Home to a magnificent array of paintings, photographs, prints and sculptures, the Chazen Museum of Art is conveniently located on University Avenue and just one block from bustling State Street. This prime location allows University of Wisconsin-Madison students and Madison residents to visit the museum for free whenever they want and recharge their creative energy.
The variety of works of art exhibited at Chazen is remarkable. Whether you’re looking for creative inspiration or just looking to cheer yourself up on a bad day, the Chazen has been a source of wonder for everyone who has passed through its rooms since it opened in 1970. .
The first time I stopped by the Chazen I was just passing through when I had 30 minutes free between classes and thought I would wander around the museum for a bit. I was blown away by the collection of works housed by the Chazen. In fact, the Chazen is the largest museum art collection in the Big Ten.
As Wisconsin’s second largest art collection, the Chazen accommodates a wide variety of jobs including “approximately 23,000 works of art spanning various historical periods, cultures and geographical locations, from ancient Greece, Western Europe and the Soviet Empire to Mughal India, 18th century Japan and the Modern Africa”.
“Suspended Landscapes” by Canadian artist Amanda McCavour will be at the museum until September 11. “Suspended Landscapes” is a breathtaking piece of embroidery depicting the flora of Wisconsin. McCavour sews in a fabric that basically dissolves in water”wire drawing.This stitched flora sways under the effect of the Chazen’s air flow, as if they were real plants caressed by the wind. It is an unforgettable sight.
While you’re there, be sure to check out Kota Ezawa’s ‘City of Nature’ exhibition, a video collage combining seventy nature scenes from different films. This will also be on display at the museum until 9/11. Using computer-aided digital drawing and animation tools, Exawa recreates movie scenes and the result is an extremely captivating six-minute video.
Another memorable exhibition is ‘Echoing Overseas’, a collection of 50 works representative of artistic and cultural exchanges across Asia. The types of objects on display have inspired a massive transformation in all sectors of life in Asia. “Echoing Overseas” perfectly captures the trajectory of art in Asia and around the world.
“Sifting and Reckoning: UW-Madison’s History of Exclusion and Resistance” will be a pivotal exhibition demonstrating discrimination and resistance that haunts the university’s past. Beginning September 12 and ending December 30, 2022, “visitors will discover items from the UW archives that are rarely displayed, including the peace pipe, a ceremonial object used by white students during a fake folk aboriginal ceremony; protest flyers created by students fighting against racism; buttons and sports memorabilia; and yearbooks and photographs illustrating the culture of exclusion on campus.
The exhibit will provide visitors with opportunities to interact on a personal level and reflect on the history of UW-Madison. It’s incredibly important for UW-Madison students to come to this exhibit and reflect on their school’s horrific history, because acknowledging the past is the first step in laying the foundation for a more equitable future.
Le Chazen is a perfect spot for any occasion – whether you’re going out on a new date, hanging out with your friends, or looking for a place where you can spend time alone immersed in beautiful art.
For as many years as you’ll be in Madison, the Chazen will be there for you. If you find yourself with time off while you’re here, there are few worse ways to spend a few minutes or a few hours.
The museum is free and open from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday to Friday or from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
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