500 pound mural heads to Chazen

MADISON, Wis. — The Chazen Museum of Art began the relocation of a 500 pound mural to it’s University of Wisconsin campus building Wednesday morning.

The eighteen foot mural by retired UW Art History professor James Watrous left its home of nearly seven decades at Webcrafters located on the city’s east side.

While the two buildings are only three miles apart museum staff said because of the sheer size of the painting they needed to hire special contractors from Chicago to facilitate the move.

It “requires a lot more knowledge, skills and tools than we currently have on our staff here,” said collections registrar Andrea Selbig.

The mural, ‘Printing is the Inseparable Companion of Achievement,’ was donated by the Frautschi family after they learned it was going to be destroyed during building renovations by Webcrafters’ new owners.

The museum’s chief curator Katherine Alcauskas said it’s great that the mural will have a new home in the very place Watrous was so instrumental in bringing to life.

“He just made it so clear to the administration here on campus how important it would be to have a museum and how important it is for students to have physical actual pieces of artwork and not just slides,” said Alcauskas.

The massive work of art is taking workers longer than initially anticipated to install but barring any additional delays, Chazen staff expect the mural to be lifted Thursday morning and available to the public in the afternoon.

This mural will join Waltrous’ other work on campus including a mosaic outside Vilas Hall and the Paul Bunyan Murals in Memorial Union.