The Anytime Museum

UW–Madison’s online collections are open 24/7.

While we’re all practicing physical distancing, online resources from the University of Wisconsin–Madison can make you feel a little closer to campus and appreciate art from afar. So get ready to take a virtual visit.

"The Umbrellas" oil pastel sketch by Christo and Jeanne-Claude

“The Umbrellas” by Christo and Jeanne-Claude at the Chazen Museum.

Start out at the Chazen Museum of Art. There are more than 23,000 works of art in the museum’s collections, representing the entire spectrum of art history. Maybe you’re looking for something specific — go ahead and search the collection or browse by geographic region, object type, and century. You can follow @ChazenArtUW on Twitter for suggested reading and viewing.

Kumiseva pattern by Katsuji Wakisaka

Kumiseva pattern by Katsuji Wakisaka at the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection.

Next up, the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection (HLATC) at the School of Human Ecology, where you can explore more than 9,000 objects in the 13,000-piece collection. Allen was a home economics professor who taught weaving, textile history, and the history of interiors from 1927 until her death in 1968. During her career, she traveled widely and amassed a broad collection of approximately 4,000 textiles to support her teaching and research.

A pioneer in her field, Allen was an early adopter of historical and anthropological perspectives in the study of the textile arts. Her original vision to advance understanding of cultures and their history via the textile arts remains at the heart of HLATC’s mission and continues to inspire artists and designers. The teaching collection spans 16 centuries and 108 countries.

Photo of Gecko

Nisha Iyer’s crested gecko from the Cool Science Image Contest.

While museums are a natural place to look for art, the UW’s 2020 Cool Science Image Contest recognizes the beauty found in science. Eyeball-licking geckos, wiggling brain cells, and a whole planet’s worth of weather are among the winners of the 10th-anniversary contest.

There’s a lot to see online, so don’t be afraid to make multiple visits. You won’t find any lines. And the hours? Always open.

Published in the Fall 2020 issue


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