chazen

Where the locals go in Madison during winter

Dreams of a white Christmas usually come true for us in Wisconsin, but there’s a quick skid of difference between picturesque wintry weather and an avalanche of discontent. A new exhibit at the Wisconsin Historical Museum, Madison, gently reminds us that the modern-day pleasures and pitfalls of winter are gentle when compared to what our(…)

Glass as art: Movement began 50 years ago

Before Dale Chihuly – the celebrated architect of big, bulbous, vivid and swirly glass sculptures – there was Harvey Littleton. Before Littleton, glass was for eyeglasses and windshields, goblets and vases – but not heating and blowing into fine art. People worked with glass in industrial settings, not art studios. That changed when Littleton, now(…)

College museums: majors in birds to geology

Freethinkers buck conventional thinking and make their way through the world in unusual ways. This is the way I peg James Newman Clark. The Meridean farmer, southwest of Eau Claire, in the late 1800s successfully grew ginseng and goldenseal, both medicinal plants. Taxidermy of birds began as a hobby, then turned into a second business.(…)