The University of Wisconsin-Madison has received a $20 million gift from alumni Simona and Jerome A. Chazen to fund an expansion of its Elvehjem Museum of Art.
Planned for completion in 2009, the project is part of the university's plan to create a vibrant district for the visual and performing arts surrounding the museum. The Chazen gift represents more than half of the estimated $35 million needed for the project. In recognition of the gift, the museum will be renamed the Chazen Museum of Art.
"We are thrilled with the gift," said museum director Russell Panczenko. "The project will provide an additional 20,000 square feet of gallery space, doubling what we have now, for our growing collection and temporary exhibitions, as well as a new auditorium and object-study rooms to support the educational component of our mission."
Jerome Chazen worked on Wall Street before he became one of the four founders of Liz Claiborne, where he went on to serve as chairman. Chazen also founded a private equity firm in New York City as well as the Jerome A. Chazen Institute for International Business at Columbia Business School. Simona Chazen, a practicing clinical social worker specializing in family issues of divorce and abuse, is co-chair of the collections committee and board member of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, a board member and supervisor of Volunteer Counseling Services of Rockland County, and a founding member of the Rockland County Family Shelter and the Law Guardian Committee of the New York State Appellate Division.