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Art, Science, and the Arc of Inquiry:
The Evolution of the Nevada Museum of Art

Organized on the occasion of the Nevada Museum of Art’s 80th anniversary in 2011, this special exhibition will celebrate the institution’s early founders, Dr. James Church, Charles Cutts, and volunteer members of the Latimer Art Club, revealing how their vision for a regional art gallery evolved into the robust and vigorous institution that the Museum is today.

Dr. James Church, who began teaching Classics at the University of Nevada, Reno in 1892, is perhaps best remembered for his scientific research into surveying snow on Mt. Rose in the Sierra Nevada. Also a great advocate for the arts, Church convinced his friend Charles Cutts to bequeath his entire art collection to the burgeoning community art museum upon his passing in 1931.

Church’s influence also shaped the interdisciplinary nature of the Museum’s earliest public programs, which included presentations on subjects ranging from radioactivity and earthquakes to forest fires and views of the Alaska wilderness. These factors, coupled with the Latimer Art Club’s focus on engaging with the landscape via outdoor painting classes, led to a synergistic energy and the founding of what is now known as the Nevada Museum of Art.

The exhibition is comprised of archival materials, including photographs, newspaper articles, and artworks, from the Museum’s Collection and the University of Nevada, Reno Special Collections.