The Chazen Museum of Art at the University of Wisconsin–Madison opened to the public in 1970. This year, even as the coronavirus limited 50th anniversary celebratory events and programs, the staff of the Chazen sought ways to deepen the museum’s connection to the university and the history of artmaking on campus.
One result of that effort is the recent acquisition of work from current and emeriti faculty of the University. As of November 2020, groups of work by mosaic artist Marjorie Kreilick and sculptor Truman Lowe will become part of the Chazen’s permanent collection, along with single works by print artist Emily Arthur and photographer Darcy Padilla.
“These four outstanding faculty members have mentored and shaped many UW students and artists across the globe,” said Amy Gilman, director of the Chazen. “One of the really special things about being a university museum is that we are surrounded by regional artists of wonderfully varied techniques and backgrounds. As we work to diversify the Chazen’s collection, it’s an honor to bring well-deserved attention to these artists who also happen to be faculty members past and present.”
Marjorie Kreilick taught foundation courses on design and color for nearly 40 years (1953-1991) at UW–Madison. She is often remembered for the ten large-scale mosaic murals she created for Milwaukee’s State Office Building in 1961. Marjorie was the first artist hired at UW–Madison to teach art practice. Her mosaic work “Great Lakes” is on view now in Niche XVI (16).
Truman Lowe (1944-2019) was professor of art at UW–Madison from 1975-2010 and a curator of contemporary art for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian from 2000-2008. The Chazen acquired two of his works before his death in 2019. A newly acquired sculpture, “Feather Tree,” exhibited in the Chazen’s 1990 faculty show, will be installed in the center of gallery XVII (17). Additionally, the Chazen acquired several smaller Lowe works in wood and bronze, as well as works on paper, that will be on view in rotation.
Emily Arthur is an associate professor in the Art Department at UW-Madison. She joined the faculty in 2013 and specializes in printmaking (primarily intaglio and screen print). “Cherokee by Blood (Red Sky with Aphid Hemlocks)” is from a body of work that responds to and incorporates the text of Cherokee by Blood, a report commissioned by the U.S. Court of Claims to determine eligibility for payments issued under U.S. treaties with the Eastern Band of Cherokee dating to 1835-36 and 1845. The print was included in the Chazen’s Faculty Exhibition 2020.
Darcy Padilla is a documentary photographer who considers the effects of transgenerational trauma. She is an associate professor in the Art Department at UW–Madison, having joined the staff as a visiting instructor in 2018. “Ambassador Hotel, San Francisco, California” is from a body of work that Padilla created in the 1990s addressing urban poverty. The series of images from which this photograph is drawn was shot in single-room occupancy hotels in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District. A number of examples, including “Ambassador Hotel,” were on view in the Chazen’s Faculty Exhibition 2020.
ABOUT THE CHAZEN
The Chazen Museum of Art makes its home between two lakes on the beautiful campus of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Within walking distance of the state capitol, it sits squarely in the heart of a vibrant college town. Featuring one of the best views on campus, an art-filled bridge connects the historic Elvehjem building, built in 1970, with the Chazen building, built in 2011. This connection represents both a physical and intellectual joining of human art history and the most dynamic artistic explorers of today.
With a permanent collection of more than 23,000 objects, from vessels of ancient Greece to prints by Kara Walker, the Chazen is the second largest museum in Wisconsin. Two expansive buildings encompass 163,000+ square feet, making it the largest collecting museum in the Big Ten. More than 100,000 visitors come through the Chazen’s doors each year to enjoy the permanent collection and special exhibitions. The Chazen is currently open Tuesday-Friday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., with online reservations required. Admission is free for all and includes programs for students, families and community members, all provided with the museum’s unique brand of Wisconsin hospitality.