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 people 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.

 

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.  

History of Transportation: A Mural Study by Helen Lundeberg

A highlight of the E.L. Wiegand Work Ethic Collection, American artist Helen Lundeberg’s History of Transportation traces a progression of labor from the Native American era to the dawn of the airline industry in the 1940s. During the Great Depression, Lundeberg proposed her concept for a public mural celebrating the ongoing contributions of workers to society. Commissioned by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Art Project, Lundeberg’s mural was eventually constructed in the southern California city of Inglewood.

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.

Over the past century, American artists have approached the subject of work from many points of view and with a variety of artistic styles. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, artists frequently chose to idealize scenes of work. Often this idealization took the form of agricultural landscapes featuring hard-working, farmers who epitomized the spirit of American democracy. During the 1920s and 1930s, this attention was re-focused on industrialization, and images of physically-fit, muscular workers came to symbolize the nation’s advanced industrial technology. Simultaneously, however, many Realist painters sought to convincingly portray the deplorable urban working conditions that were encountered by many of the nation’s poorest workers—a trend that continued during the era of the Great Depression, when artists shifted their attention to documenting the hardships faced by migratory, agricultural workers.

Perhaps the most influential event to impact the production of art in the United States was the launch of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal Program that was intended to put millions of unemployed Americans back to work in the 1930s. The inauguration of the Works Progress Administration (WPA)—a special fine arts component of the New Deal—aimed to employ thousands of artists across the country. While many of the paintings, sculptures, and public murals produced under the auspices of the program featured American men and women at work, the program itself helped to validate the important contributions artists make to society and formally invited them to join the venerable ranks of the American workforce.

Helen Lundeberg: The History of Transportation

During the Depression-era of the 1930s and 40s, thousands of artists throughout the United States were commissioned by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Art Project to design public murals for post offices, government buildings, and outdoor spaces. Southern California-based Helen Lundeberg was commissioned in 1940 to design a mural illustrating the history of the transportation era. Lundeberg’s highly-detailed and superbly-crafted study for the mural was eventually realized in full-scale near Centinela Park in Inglewood, California. The imagery includes references to Native American ways of life, Spanish-era exploration, the contributions of Asian laborers to railroad construction, the introduction of the automobile, and the popularization of public transportation.

The works in this exhibition were recently added to the Nevada Museum of Art’s E.L. Wiegand Collection, whose thematic focus is on the work ethic in American art.

Raphael: The Woman with the Veil

Presented by Arte ITALIA, through its relationship with New York-based Foundation for Italian Art & Culture, Raphael’s masterpiece painting The Woman with the Veil will be exhibited in the E. L. Wiegand Gallery at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, NV from January 9 through March 21, 2010.

Depicting a woman wearing a veil the painting embodies some of the high Renaissance master’s distinctive qualities: his control over pigment and color, and a serenity that contrasts with the style of his mentors and fellow icons of the era.

Founded in Reno, NV and operated by the E. L. Wiegand Foundation, Arte ITALIA promotes the exploration and conservation of Italian culture, including innovative exhibitions of classic Italian art and culinary programs featuring renowned Italian chefs.

This exhibition is presented and exclusively sponsored by E.L. Wiegand Foundation’s Arte ITALIA, organized by the Portland Art Museum and supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. This exhibition was made possible by the Foundation for Italian Art and Culture.

Titian’s La Bella: Woman in a Blue Dress

“Presented by arte italia, through its relationship with New York-based Foundation for Italian Art & Culture, Titian’s Renaissance masterpiece painting La Bella: Woman in a Blue Dress will be exhibited in the Museum’s E. L. Wiegand Gallery. An expanded exhibition of Titian’s life and art is on view through Titian’s Venice at arte italia located at 442 Flint Street.

The most celebrated artist in Renaissance Venice, Titian is unsurpassed as a portrait painter and member of the 16 Century Venetian School. One of his most iconic artworks is the single masterpiece popularly known as La Bella,  the beautiful woman. The luminous painting is a classic portrait of a beautiful woman in a magnificent dress and luxurious accessories of the day. La Bella’s blue gown is accented with gold embroidery with ruffles at the neckline and cuffs, and gold, ruby, and pearl jewelry accents her elegant presentation.

The painting was first commissioned by Francesco Maria I della Rovere, Duke of Urbino, a mercenary military leader. In 1536, the duke sent a letter to his agent in Venice inquiring about the progress of “”that portrait of that woman in a blue dress,”” whose completion he eagerly awaited. The painting in question was doubtless La Bella, which is today in the collection of the Galleria Palatina in Florence. The canvas has been cleaned recently, and the removal of discolored varnish has revealed the splendor of the woman’s blue dress and the luminosity of her flesh.

In 2010, the Museum featured Raphael: The Woman with the Veil and with La Bella visitors can continue their exploration of Italian Renaissance masterpieces.

This exhibition is made possible by the Foundation for Italian Art & Culture.

Sponsor

E. L. Wiegand Foundation

 

Founded in Reno, NV and operated by the E. L. Wiegand Foundation, arte italia promotes the exploration and conservation of Italian culture, including innovative exhibitions of classic Italian art and culinary programs featuring renowned Italian chefs.

The exhibition tour was organized by the Kimbell Art Museum in collaboration with the Nevada Museum of Art and the Portland Art Museum.”

The 36th Star: Nevada’s Journey from Territory to State

In celebration of 150 years of statehood, the Nevada Museum of Art honors the “Battle Born” state with a significant exhibition detailing the journey toward October 31, 1864. This special show features historic treasures from our nation’s capital, including a special Nevada Day Weekend presentation of the original Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln, on loan from the National Archives in Washington, D.C. The document will be on view for a limited number of hours October 30 through November 2. Also on exhibit are Timothy O’ Sullivan photographs, historical Nevada objects, and statehood documents on loan from important regional museums.

Each of three galleries on the Museum’s second floor houses a unique combination of significant objects telling the story of Nevada’s journey to statehood. Highlights include: the 175-page transcription of Nevada’s State Constitution that was sent from Territorial Governor James Nye to Abraham Lincoln via telegram—the longest telegram at that time which cost nearly $60,000 to send (in today’s dollars); the original copy of the Nevada State Constitution, typically held in storage at the Nevada State Library and Archives in Carson City; never-before-displayed Civil War-era muster rolls of the Nevada Volunteers; artifacts belonging to Nevada’s first governor Henry G. Blasdel and Captain Joseph Stewart, commander of Nevada’s Fort Churchill; as well as the historic Austin Flour Sack used to raise money for the troops during the Civil War.

Two sets of original Timothy O’Sullivan photographs on loan from the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., bookend the exhibition. Highlights include O’Sullivan’s famous photograph Dead Soldiers on the Battlefield at Gettsysburg from 1863, as well as over 20 Nevada photographs taken by O’Sullivan in 1867 as part of Clarence King’s government-sponsored Geological Exploration of the Fortieth Parallel. This is the first time these historic O’Sullivan images of Nevada have been shown in the state. The exhibition includes items on loan from the Nevada State Museum, the Nevada State Library and Archives, the Nevada Historical Society, the Library of Congress, Washington D.C., and the National Archives, Washington, D.C.

View the original Emancipation Proclamation, on loan from the National Archives, Washington, DC

Thursday, October 30, 2014 / 10 am – 7 pm
Friday, October 31, 2014 / 10 am – 5 pm
Saturday, November 1, 2014 / 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday, November 2, 2014 / 10 am – 5 pm

Exclusive sponsor

E. L. Wiegand Foundation

Media support

KTVN Channel 2 News and KUNR Reno Public Radio

Italian Baroque: Paintings from the Haukohl Family Collection

Imagine Florence, Italy in the late sixteenth century. A city in love with art, Florence teemed with color, science, and awe-inspiring paintings. Italian Baroque: Paintings from the Haukohl Family Collection invites you to feel the period come alive as you immerse yourself in more than 20 breathtaking paintings. Intensified by deep, rich color and the brilliant use of shadows, each dramatic work is enveloped by a finely detailed golden frame. This historic exhibition continues at neighboring arte italia, where educational and sculptural components complete the Baroque experience. Made possible by Sir Mark Fehrs Haukohl, a patron of the arts who lives in Houston, Texas, the show is drawn from the largest private collection of Florentine Baroque painting in the United States and other countries outside of Italy.

Exclusive sponsor

E.L. Wiegand Foundation

 

 

ITALIAN BAROQUE PRESS RELEASE