Due to construction, Museum parking may be limited at the time of your visit. Look for additional parking in free or metered spaces along nearby streets.

When Langston Hughes Came to Town

When Langston Hughes Came to Town explores the history and legacy of Langston Hughes through the lens of his largely unknown travels to Nevada and highlights the vital role Hughes played in the Harlem Renaissance and beyond. James Mercer Langston Hughes (1902-1967) was born in Joplin, Missouri. Having previously studied at Columbia University in 1922, Hughes returned to New York City becoming a leader of the Harlem Renaissance. A writer with a distinctive style inspired by jazz rhythms, Hughes documented all facets of Black culture but became renowned for his incisive poetry.

The exhibition begins by examining the relationship of this literary giant to the state of Nevada through a unique presentation of archival photographs, ephemera, and short stories he wrote that were informed by his visit to the area. The writer’s first trip to Nevada took place in 1932, when he investigated the working conditions at the Hoover Dam Project. He returned to the state in 1934, at the height of his career, making an unexpected trip to Reno, and found solace and a great night life in the city.

The presentation continues with work created by leading artists of the Harlem Renaissance who had close ties to Hughes, including sculptures by Augusta Savage and Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller, and paintings by Beauford Delaney, Aaron Douglas, Norman Lewis, and Archibald Motley, Jr., among others. The range of work on display foregrounds the rich expressions of dance, music, and fashion prevalent during the influential movement.

The final section of the exhibition features contemporary artists who were inspired by Hughes and made work about his life. Excerpts from Hughes’s poems and short stories are juxtaposed with related works of art, demonstrating how his legacy endures in the twenty-first century. Isaac Julien, Kwame Brathwaite, Glenn Ligon, and Deborah Willis are among the artists whose works are included. Julien, for example, in his renowned series Looking for Langston Hughes reimagines scenarios of Hughes’s life in Harlem during the 1920s. His black-and-white pictures are paired with Hughes poem No Regrets. Similarly, Brathwaite’s impactful photographs highlight the continuation of the Harlem Renaissance through the Black pride movement of the 1960s and are coupled with the poem My People. Finally, Glenn Ligon’s black neon sculpture relates to Hughes’s poignant poem Let America Be America Again, which both leave viewers to ponder the question of belonging in America.

 

 

 

 

Adaline Kent: The Click of Authenticity

The first retrospective exhibition of one of midcentury America’s most innovative artists to occur in nearly sixty years, Adaline Kent: The Click of Authenticity features approximately 120 works that span Adaline Kent’s (1900-1957) entire career and chart major thematic developments in the artist’s work as it progressed from figuration to abstraction. Encompassing a diverse range of media, the exhibition includes drawings, original pictures incised on Hydrocal (a type of plaster), sculptures both large and small, and a collection of terracottas—many of which have not been seen by the public in over half a century.

The exhibition title comes from the artist herself; Kent often wrote down many of her ideas on art, filling notebooks with her thoughts. In one poetic note entitled Classic Romantic Mystic, dated April 17, 1956, Kent mused, “I want to hear the click of authenticity.” The exhibition title underscores the drive that propelled her forward in her work and life: to create art that expressed a unique approach to timeless subjects.

Kent grew up in the shadow of Mt. Tampalais, and therefore with a love of the natural world that she shared with her husband Robert B. Howard. They often spent their summers exploring the High Sierra. Kent and Howard also spent winters skiing in the Tahoe region, often staying with close friend and fellow artist Jeanne Reynal, who had a house at nearby Soda Springs. They were among the first investors of Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, and Kent’s brother-in-law, Henry Temple Howard, would design the first chairlift in California. Kent was a self-admitted “addict of the High Sierra,” and the landscape infused her work as she translated her experience of time and space in the mountains into aesthetic form.

Although Kent’s work is not widely known today, she was featured in key 1940s and 1950s exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Bienal de São Paulo, and she exhibited with the Betty Parsons Gallery in New York. She was a peer of artists such as Ruth Asawa, Isamu Noguchi, Mark Rothko, and Clyfford Still. Kent was also a member of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most productive mid-century artistic clan, which included Charles H. Howard, Madge Knight, John Langley Howard, Robert Boardman Howard, Henry Temple Howard, and Jane Berlandina.

Major Sponsors

Jenny and Garrett Zook Sutton | Corporate Direct

Sponsors

Charles and Margaret Burback Foundation
Barbara and Tad Danz
Maureen Mullarkey and Steve Miller
Linda and Alvaro Pascotto
Six Talents Foundation
Roswitha Kima Smale, PhD
Kaya and Kevin Stanley

Supporting Sponsors

Carole Anderson
Kathie Bartlett
Betsy Burgess and Tim Bailey
Chica Charitable Trust
Evercore Wealth Management
Galen Howard Hilgard

Additional Support

KQED
Pamela Joyner and Fred Giuffrida
PBS Reno

Symphony No. 3: Altered Landscape, A Collaboration between the Reno Philharmonic and the Nevada Museum of Art

This exhibition accompanies a new musical composition commissioned by the Reno Philharmonic in collaboration with the Nevada Museum of Art. Jimmy López Bellido, a world-renowned, Finnish-trained, Peruvian-American composer, was invited by Laura Jackson, Music Director of the Reno Philharmonic, to work with curators at the Nevada Museum of Art to select photographs from the Museum’s photography collection to inspire his brand new, Symphony. No. 3: Altered Landscape. The Carol Franc Buck Altered Landscape Photography Collection is the Nevada Museum of Art’s signature collection of photographs featuring more than 2,000 images reflecting changes to the natural and built environment.

Lead Sponsors

The Deborah and T.J. Day Foundation
Jackie and Steve Kane
Charlotte and Dick McConnell
Sandy Raffealli | Bill Pearce Motors

Sponsors

Atlantis Casino Resort Spa | John and Catherine Farahi

The Latimer School: Lorenzo Latimer and the Latimer Art Club

Organized on the 90th anniversary of the Nevada Museum of Art, this exhibition brings together landscape paintings by the watercolor painter Lorenzo Latimer, alongside those of the artists he mentored, including Mattie S. Conner, Marguerite Erwin, Dora Groesbeck, Hildegard Herz, Nettie McDonald, Minerva Pierce, Echo Mapes Robinson, Nevada Wilson, and Dolores Samuel Young. These artists joined together to formally found the Latimer Art Club in 1921. The Latimer Art Club is still active and celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2021.

The Latimer Art Club was the founding volunteer organization of the Nevada Art Gallery, which is known today as the Nevada Museum of Art. The San Francisco-based painter Lorenzo Latimer first visited Fallen Leaf Lake on the south side of Lake Tahoe in summer 1914. It was there that he began to teach annual plein air painting classes. In 1916, he was invited by two students to teach a painting class in Reno. He returned for the next twenty years and became a cherished member of the Northern Nevada arts community.

The watercolor paintings by Latimer and his students of the Truckee Meadows, Washoe Valley, Lake Tahoe, and Pyramid Lake are foundational to the history of Northern Nevada’s outdoor painting tradition. By 1931, the Latimer Club joined together with the visionary humanist scholar and scientist Dr. James Church to establish the Nevada Art Gallery, now the Nevada Museum of Art. The founding group planned art exhibitions and interdisciplinary public programs for the nascent museum for many years.

The exhibition is co-curated by Nevada art specialist Jack Bacon and Ann M. Wolfe, Andrea and John C. Deane Family Senior Curator and Deputy Director. The exhibition will be accompanied by a major book with an introduction by Wolfe and an essay by Alfred C. Harrison, a nineteenth-century painting scholar and art historian with a special emphasis on California art.

This exhibition is accompanied by a juried exhibition of the present-day Latimer Art Club members on view in the Wayne L. Prim Theater Gallery from July 10 – September 1, 2021.

About the Book

Commemorating the history of the Latimer Art Club
Essays by Ann M. Wolfe, Alfred C. Harrison, Jr.
Hardcover, 375 pages, published by Jack Bacon & Company

Lead Sponsor

Wayne L. Prim Foundation

Major Sponsors

The Bretzlaff Foundation

Sponsors

The Thelma B. and Thomas P. Hart Foundation
Sandy Raffealli | Bill Pearce Motors
The Phil and Jennifer Satre Family Fund at the Community Foundation of Western Nevada
Jenny and Garrett Sutton | Corporate Direct

Supporting Sponsors

Kathie Bartlett
The Chica Charitable Gift Fund
Michael and Tammy Dermody
Dickson Realty
Irene Drews in memory of J. George Drews, watercolor painter and longtime instructor in the Nevada Museum of Art E. L. Cord Museum School
Edgar F. Kleiner
Sierra Integrated Systems
Betsy and Henry Thumann

Additional Support

Enid Oliver, Financial Consultant & Wealth Manager

The E. L. Wiegand Collection: Representing the Work Ethic in American Art

The artworks that comprise the E. L. Wiegand Collection date from the early twentieth century to the present and represent various manifestations of the work ethic in American art. While many emphasize men or women undertaking the physical act of labor, others focus on different types of work environments ranging from domestic interiors and rural landscapes to urban cityscapes and industrial scenes. By expanding the definition of the term work ethic to encompass a broad range of activities undertaken by a diverse spectrum of people from various cultural and socioeconomic groups, the collection seeks to acknowledge all those who have devoted their lives to the tireless pursuit of work.

Edwin L. Wiegand was a successful entrepreneur and inventor who made Reno his home in 1971. He died in 1980 at the age of 88, and the E. L. Wiegand Foundation was established in Reno in 1982 for general charitable purposes.

The Nevada Museum of Art thanks the E. L. Wiegand Foundation for their generous, ongoing support of this unique permanent collection.  

After Audubon: Art, Observation, and Natural Science

Scientific naturalists at the dawn of the heroic age of scientific exploration observed and surveyed the farthest corners of the natural world. By necessity, they were artists as well as scientists, leveraging their skills in illustration, painting, poetry, and journaling to record their discoveries and share their passion.

By examining the practices of historically significant naturalists, like John James Audubon, we can begin to explore the ways in which these traditions influenced the next iteration of interdisciplinary thinking and learning. Contemporary artists such as Penelope Gottlieb, Kara Maria, and Donald Farnsworth pick up from where Audubon left off—in new, celebratory, and sometimes critical ways.

This exhibition is organized in conjunction with the 2019 NV STEAM Conference, a statewide education conference focused on ideas and strategies that incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math education into innovative classroom practices that foster student creativity and innovation. The NV STEAM Conference is presented in partnership with the Desert Research Institute’s Science Alive program and supported by the Nevada Department of Education and the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council.

Major Sponsor

Mario J. Gabelli, CEO Gabelli Funds

Sponsor

Nancy and Ron Remington

The Nuclear Landscape

Nevada’s past and future are closely intertwined with the nuclear history and politics of the United States. Under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Energy, the Nevada Test Site (now the Nevada National Security Site)—located just 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas—saw the detonation of 928 nuclear devices between 1951 and 1992. Visual artists from around the world have responded in a myriad of ways to this nuclear legacy—and the Nevada Museum of Art houses a number of artworks in its permanent collection related to this subject matter.

This exhibition is organized in conjunction with the 2018 NV STEAM Conference, a statewide education conference focused on ideas and strategies that incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math education into innovative classroom practices that foster student creativity and innovation. The NV STEAM Conference was presented in partnership with the Desert Research Institute’s Science Alive program and supported by the Nevada Department of Education and the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council.

The John and Mary Lou Paxton Collection: A Gift for the Nevada Museum of Art

The John and Mary Lou Paxton Collection spans over sixty years of art making and collecting. Growing up in Missouri in the 1940s, John Paxton became fascinated with art when the famous American Regionalist painter Thomas Hart Benton moved in next door. That introduction started John’s life-long passion for collecting fine art.

In the 1950s, John and Mary Lou moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where John joined the board of the Fort Worth Art Museum and began to build his personal collection of contemporary art.  The collection includes important pieces by artists ranging from minimalist compositions and quiet landscapes, to Native American art of the Southwest. After moving to the San Diego area in 1980, John continued to visit galleries, often meeting and becoming friends with the artists whose works he collected.

In 2006, the Nevada Museum of Art mounted an exhibition of highlights from the Paxton Collection and announced the couple’s intention to donate their artworks to the Museum upon their passing. While we mourn the loss of this lovely couple, we celebrate their thoughtful and generous gift to the Nevada Museum of Art and our community.

Tarek Al-Ghoussein

From a Palestinian-Kuwaiti family, Tarek Al-Ghoussein was born in 1962 and raised in Kuwait. He is a prominent photographer known for his works that combine elements of landscape and portrait photography.  This exhibition features twelve photographic prints from the artist’s K Files series, as well as a sampling of new works from his Al Sawaber series, both focused on his experience in his native Kuwait.

Altered Landscape: Photographs of a Changing Environment

Humans rarely appear in the photographs on view in this exhibition, yet their presence is undeniable. In these photographs, drawn from the permanent collection of the Nevada Museum of Art, photographers reveal the ways that individuals and industries have marked, mined, toured, tested, developed, occupied, and exploited landscapes over the last fifty years. While the images take various approaches, together they offer a panoramic sweep of the contentious social and political debates that have shaped contemporary discourse on the changing environment. Both cautionary and confessional, they also define challenges facing our global future.

Much has been written recently about landscape photography’s paradigm shift in the 1970s and the integration of the medium into larger arenas of contemporary art. In an effort to depart from idealized notions of scenic beauty and the romantic sensibilities of modern nature photography, a small group of photographers working mostly in the American West turned their cameras toward everyday, mundane landscapes. These image-makers, referred to now as the New Topographic photographers, made works that framed industrial structures, suburban developments, and other ordinary subjects with unprecedented matter-of-fact realism. Around the same time, practitioners of the Dusseldorf School pushed the technical limits of photography in their production of large-format color images that were globally oriented toward revisionist interpretations of social space. Both groups inspired artists around the world, who adopted their photographic strategies and visual vocabularies to make images that revealed landscapes as suitable places for social and political inquiry.

The Altered Landscape Photography Collection is the largest focus collection of the Nevada Museum of Art permanent collection. Since its establishment in the early 1990s, the collection has included images that address and engage issues related to land use and the changing landscape. In 1998 an endowment for Altered Landscape acquisitions was established through the generosity of the Carol Franc Buck Foundation.