When the Chazen Museum of Art opened in the fall of 1970 as the Elvehjem Art Center, the collection of 1,600 paintings and works on paper had been acquired by the UW–Madison since 1885. Today, there are over 23,000 works of art in the museum’s collections representing the entire spectrum of art history across culture, period, media and genre. Many works have entered the museum’s holdings as part of thematic collections assembled and given by generous donors. In a sense, the Chazen is a collection of more than 40 collections. Learn about our collections.