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

End of the Range: Charlotte Skinner in the Eastern Sierra

Charlotte B. Skinner (1879-1963) was an artist and educator living in the Eastern Sierra of California from 1905 to 1933. She spent her early life in San Francisco, immersing herself within a community of professional artists working and exhibiting there. After moving to the remote, rural community of Lone Pine, California, her home on Brewery Street became an escape from the hustle and bustle of the Bay Area for artists and friends seeking community among the company of other artists.

Born in 1879 and raised in San Francisco, Skinner studied at the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art (known today as the San Francisco Art Institute) under Arthur Frank Matthews and Gottardo Piazzoni. It was there that she met fellow student, artist, and mining engineer, William Lyle Skinner. The two married in 1905 and moved to the Skinner family’s home in Lone Pine, CA, where she would reside for almost 30 years, immersing herself in painting the landscapes of Owens Valley as well as printmaking, and teaching. Committed to her artistic practice, Skinner exhibited extensively during her life showing works throughout the West Coast, including the Stanford Art Gallery (1930), Portland Art Museum (1933), M.H. de Young Memorial Museum (1956). Skinner also exhibited at the Nevada Art Gallery (Nevada Museum of Art) in 1952 alongside illustrator and friend, Maynard Dixon, and noted California landscape painter William Wendt.

Skinner counted herself among the artistic circles of renowned photographers and artists of the West including Dorothea Lange, Maynard Dixon, Imogen Cunningham, Roi Partridge, and Ralph Stackpole. Her home became a retreat and a site of inspiration for these artists and others who were passing through Owens Valley seeking new subject matter and like-minded creatives.

This exhibition features original paintings and drawings of the Eastern Sierra by Charlotte B. Skinner. It also includes works by artist-friends including Dorothea Lange, Maynard Dixon, Roi Partridge, Sonya Noskowiak, Ralph Stackpole, and William Wendt, along with Panamint Shoshone baskets from her own personal collection.

It is accompanied by a small publication with an essay written by Kolin Perry.

Generously supported by John A. White, Jr., in memory of Charlotte Skinner’s grandson, James Skinner

 

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.