The Oral History Program is proud to help the department of Art History celebrate 100 years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1925, Professor Oskar F. Hagen established the Department of Art History and Criticism with the goal of creating, “an institute of research of a calibre which would be outstanding in the United States and which is the standard in the best universities of Europe.” Initially teaching all of the courses himself, he began to build the department after a trip to Europe in search of a professor of medieval art.
From the beginning, Hagen had the dream of creating a Fine Arts Museum in Madison. This goal was eventually realized by Professor James Watrous in 1970, who established what is today the Chazen Museum of Art and the Kohler Art Library. The building also houses the Art History Department, which continues to encourage innovation and scholarship in the field to this day. This project interviews six professors in the department who study a vast range of subjects, from Moroccan metal works to Frank Lloyd Wright.
You can listen to all of the Oral History Interviews here.