On, Wisconsin at home: Ways to enjoy art and music while social distancing

March 25, 2020 By Käri Knutson

While we’re all practicing social distancing, online resources from the University of Wisconsin–Madison can make you feel a little closer to campus. Follow #onwisconsinathome on Twitter and Instagram for more ideas about how we can social distance together even when apart.

The Chazen Museum of Art

The Chazen Museum of Art is always open online — you can pay a virtual visit here. When the Chazen 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 UW–Madison since 1885. Today, there are more than 23,000 works of art in the museum’s collections. These holdings represent the entire spectrum of art history across culture, period, media and genre. For more information about the collection, visit the main Collections page. You can also search the collection or browse by geographic region, object type and century.

Artist Jim Dine leads the way to Gallery I at the unveiling of his new mural for the Chazen Museum of Art. Eric Baillies

Amy Gilman can take you along on a tour during a video from 2017 when she became director.

Want more? Listen to podcasts with curators and artists and watch videos celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Chazen. Printed exhibition catalogs provide insights into the history of the museum as well as the history of the visual arts on the UW–Madison campus. The Chazen, the Kohler Art Library, and the UW Digital Collections Center have worked together to produce online facsimiles of many of these Elvehjem/Chazen museum publications. The digital catalogs are made available here for research and academic use. You can find them here. A separate sub-collection of Art Department Faculty Exhibition Catalogues is already available online.

There’s a lot to look at, so follow @ChazenArtUW for suggested reading and viewing, or #museumathome to visit collections from museums all over the world.

The Badger Band marches on — virtually 

Unfortunately, the show won’t go on for this year’s UW Varsity Band Spring Concert. While there’s no substitute for seeing it in person, you can still sing along to last year’s performance, which marked Mike Leckrone’s last time directing the traditional show he started 46 years ago.

Enjoy the “Camp Randall Sing Along Medley” of hits from your own home: “Twist and Shout,” “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Build Me Up Buttercup,” “Jump Around,” “Crazy Train” and of course, “Sweet Caroline.” Click here for a photo gallery of the show.

And if your singing skills need a little work, the Badger Band is here to help. You can listen to recordings of “On, Wisconsin,” “Varsity,” “If You Want to a Badger,” “Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight” and “You’ve Said it All” at the Badger Band website here. Experience the music while learning facts about the songs. Did you know that while “Varsity” was written in 1898, the arm wave wasn’t added until 1934 by band director Ray Dvorak? Now you do.

Photo: Pompey wearing dark suit and white gloves on platform with arms raised, surrounded by seated uniformed band members

New UW Marching Band director Corey Pompey makes his public debut during the first-of-the-season Badger Bash at Union South. Photo: Bryce Richter

If all that singing has you missing football season, watch the Sept. 7 halftime performance, which marked Corey Pompey’s Camp Randall debut as director of athletic bands and associate director of bands. You’ve already practiced the traditional songs — now sing along to “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers, “Sucker” by the Jonas Brothers, “Hello” by Adele, and Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love.”

You can also watch the band’s “A Salute to Our Veterans” halftime show from the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 2020.

Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection

Explore more than 9,000 objects in the 13,000+ piece Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection using this free, online tool.

A red, beige and green striped sweater on a mannequin

Garments from Sarah Friedland’s “Sugar-Free” collection. Students in the Textiles and Fashion Design program create a line of clothing and display them in a fashion show as seniors. Image courtesy of Sarah Friedland

The Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection (HLATC) advances understanding of cultures and their history through engagement with textiles for the creative, technical and educational benefit of scholars from the university and beyond. The teaching collection spans 16 centuries and 108 countries. The nucleus of the collection was a bequest from the estate of UW–Madison home economics Professor Helen Louise Allen, 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 still remains at the heart of HLATC’s mission and continues to inspire future generations of artists and designers.

Cool Science Images

Photo: Microscopic closeup of tick's head

Extreme closeup of a tick that attached itself to the leg of Department of Botany staffer Sarah Swanson on a camping trip. She parlayed her pain into a prize in the 2016 Cool Science Image Contest. Photo: Sarah Swanson

Who knew science could be cool? We did. See for yourself in this gallery of images and videos from winners of the 2019 Cool Science Image Contest.

Check out the bothriomutilla rugicollis (also known as an Australian wasp), pygmy marmosets, an X-ray, an adult Japanese beetle’s exoskeleton, the Elephant’s Trunk Nebula in the constellation Cephus, and other cool images.

This is the 10th year of the contest, which is open to the UW–Madison faculty, staff, students, postdocs and others with campus connections. See winners from 2018, 2017 and 2016.