Open by reservation. Always free.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Are you doing temperature checks on staff and visitors?

We are not conducting on-site temperature checks.

Why do I have to check in and provide contact information at the desk when I arrive?

As a part of the university, we are participating in campus-wide contact tracing initiatives. In order to keep both visitors and staff safe, it’s important for us to be able to pass along your contact information if the need arises. We also want to be sure to keep you informed as we continue to expand our hours and offerings.

What are your new hours?

Our current hours are posted on the home page in the footer (scroll down to the bottom). At the top of the page you’ll find a notice showing whether the museum is open or closed, in real time.

Can I still use the lockers?

Yes! Please stash backpacks and other large bags or parcels in the lockers.

When will you resume public programming?

Public programming will resume when it’s safe to do so. But—we’ve got a robust slate of programming online that will continue indefinitely. If you aren’t familiar with our Facebook page or our events calendar, please check them out for a schedule of online offerings.

How many people are you letting in the museum at once?

We can accommodate 25 people per time slot at this time.

How large of a group can I bring to the museum, and do we all need to be from the same household?

Groups are limited to six per party. You are required to give contact information for the group, so if you are not from the same household, we must still be able to contact the entire party if that becomes necessary.

Is there a route I should follow through the museum?

You are welcome to find your own way through the museum, but please maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet from other guests who are not in your party and  be aware of posted occupancy limits in smaller galleries.

When will the rest of the museum be open?

We’re reopening in stages. First, we want to be sure we can keep guests and staff safe while enjoying selected galleries in the Chazen. Keep an eye on this website and social media channels, especially Facebook, for announcements about when additional galleries will open.

When does the café open?

The Chazen Café is open for take-out items. Check the home page for current hours.

What if someone starts to feel sick while at the museum?

If someone starts to feel sick while they’re at the museum, please let a Visitor Services Assistant know. If necessary, security staff for the museum will call for an ambulance. If the person feels well enough to travel home, we will encourage them to leave as soon as they begin to feel ill.

What will you do if you find out someone who’s tested positive for COVID has visited the museum?

The university is working with the health department to ensure that we have information for contact tracing in the event it is necessary.

What is considered “exposure?”

The CDC defines exposure as close contact (less than 6 feet) for 15 or more minutes.

What measures are in place to monitor staff for COVID symptoms?

Staff must comply with the Safer Badger protocol and display a green badge to enter the building, just like all university employees. For additional information you can look at the university’s Covid-19 Response website.

What type of COVID-19 training has the staff completed?

The staff has all been updated on new disinfection standards, occupancy limits, and what to do if someone falls ill at the museum.

Can I still put donations in the box when I arrive?

We would be delighted if you would consider a donation to the museum. At this time, we are not accepting cash donations through the boxes, but you can still make a donation of any amount.

Do you offer any audio tours?

We are not offering audio tours at this time.

Can I just come in, or do I need a ticket?

We  ask that visitors reserve a time in advance but if we are below capacity when you drop by, we’ll be happy to invite you in.

How long can I stay?

Ticketed appointments last 45 minutes and start on the hour. Please stay as closely within that time frame as possible in order to allow the next hour’s guests to enter.

What is the status of a wider campus opening?

For the Chancellor’s decisions on the COVID response at UW in general, we’d recommend you visit the Covid-19 Response website.


What exhibits do you have planned for the future? Has the schedule changed?

We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust as needed. Check back here or on our Facebook page for specific updates.

Can I still become a member/how can I support the museum?

If you’re able, please consider making a gift. We rely on the university for most of our operational budget and it is likely that budgetary changes at the university level will affect us. And, a gift of any size qualifies you for membership benefits. Here’s the appropriate website and an email if you have any questions.

How is my membership affected by the changes at the museum?


First, we’re grateful for your continued support. Because of Covid-19, many in-person benefits have been postponed for now, including events, curatorial classes, and the café discount. However, our membership coordinator is working on setting up virtual events in their place. If you have questions, please email us here.

The museum has a sculpture of Lincoln freeing a slave. Is that sculpture currently on view?

The museum’s collection does include a small marble version of Thomas Ball’s Emancipation Group sculpture, given to the museum in 1976. We recognize that this work is problematic in many ways and we’re following the national dialogue about the large bronze versions in public spaces. The sculpture is installed in the closed Elvehjem building, so it is not currently accessible.  We are working on how to display and contextualize it in the future.