The Chazen Museum of Art opened in 1970 as the Elvehjem Art Center (named for the president of the university from 1958 to 1962) 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 for expansion from alumni Simona and Jerome Chazen, 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 Chazen is home to the second-largest collection of art in Wisconsin: more than 20,000 works cover 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 collection is funded entirely by private money; no public money has ever been used to purchase art.
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, families and art lovers of all ages. Special events include exhibition receptions, Art-Spin family days, Sunday Afternoon Live from the Chazen, and Sunday Cinematheque at the Chazen. These offerings are free and open to the public.
The total museum size is 176,000 square feet. The Conrad A. Elvehjem building is 90,000 square feet including the Kohler Art Library, classrooms and lecture halls, and the art history department offices. The new building is 86,000 square feet, and includes the Museum Shop, Object Study Room, Print Study Room, Docent's office, Art Studio Classroom, a state-of-the-art auditorium, and two temporary exhibit galleries. Behind the scenes, the expansion includes extensive storage, preparatory workspace, a 10,000 lb. capacity pass-through freight elevator and a self-leveling loading dock. The expansion was designed by Machado and Silvetti Associates and opened in 2011. The entire $43 million cost of the building project has been met through gifts and grants from private sources.
The Chazen Museum of Art operates with a budget of approximately $3.7 to 4 million exclusive of art acquisition and capital expenses; a full time staff of 17; a part time staff of 27; and a 25 member national Council. Annual visitation is approximately 110,000. The museum has just been re-accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
To learn more about the Chazen Museum of Art please visit their web site:
To learn about the University of Wisconsin-Madison please visit their web site:
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES:
The director will be expected to generate new initiatives, and to infuse the Chazen with vision, energy, and excitement that build on existing strengths.
The director will explore collaborations on campus in order to develop new approaches in teaching, learning, and content as well as creative applications of technology to advance the museum's utilization of its collections, and to enhance its exhibitions and programs
To build audiences and awareness for the Chazen, the director will assure that the museum is innovative, accessible, connected to, and engaged with the UW-Madison community and external constituencies locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.
The director, in partnership with the University Foundation and the museum's Council, will lead the effort to develop new sources of funding and revenue. An immediate priority is staff development.