Jerome Chazen, namesake of UW-Madison’s art museum, dies at 94

MADISON, Wis. — Jerome “Jerry” Chazen, a 1948 University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate and philanthropist for whom the Chazen Museum of Art is named, died Sunday at the age of 94, the university said.

In a news release, the university recounted numerous donations and contributions to the arts from Chazen and his wife Simona, including a lead gift in 2005 that prompted the then-Elvehjem Museum of Art to take on the Chazen name. The couple served on the museum’s advisory board for 20 years and donated numerous pieces of art to it with more donations expected.

“I am deeply saddened by the news of Jerry Chazen’s passing,” museum director Amy Gilman said in the release. “Since my arrival at the Chazen in 2017, Jerry was instrumental in providing guidance and support as I navigated my role as director and I will miss his candor and wisdom. He was a force in every part of his life – business, family, art collecting, philanthropy – and perhaps his most profound legacy will be his everlasting pursuit of his passions.”

A funeral service is set for 8:30 a.m. Central time Tuesday in New York City. It will be livestreamed here.