Organized on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the Nevada Museum of Art in 2021, this special exhibition will bring together paintings by the prominent landscape watercolor painter Lorenzo Latimer, alongside paintings made by the students he mentored. Those students formally became known as the Latimer Art Club in 1921, which was the founding volunteer organization of the Nevada Art Gallery—known today as the Nevada Museum of Art.
Born in Gold Hill, California in 1857, Latimer was raised in San Francisco and studied at the prestigious California School of Design from 1879 to 1881. He became known in artistic and cultural circles of the San Francisco Bay Area, and held memberships in the San Francisco Art Association, the Bohemian Club and the Athenian Nile Club of Oakland. Other than a visit to Donner Lake in 1904, Latimer did not venture to the Sierra Nevada until 1912 when he spent several weeks in Yosemite Valley. In the summer of 1914, Latimer arrived at Fallen Leaf Lake, on the south end of Lake Tahoe, with a group of students, to teach a plein air painting class. In 1916 Latimer was convinced by two students, Nevada Wilson Riley and Dora N. Groesbeck, to teach a painting class in Reno. This was the start of an annual tradition for Latimer, who returned every year to teach during the fall months in Reno for the next nineteen years. The group’s pupils anxiously awaited Latimer’s annual return and eventually organized to form the Latimer Art Club in 1921. The watercolor paintings made by Latimer and club members in the Truckee Meadows, Washoe Valley, and Pyramid Lake are foundational to the history of northern Nevada’s outdoor painting tradition. The exhibition will feature artworks by Lorenzo Latimer, alongside paintings by many of the Latimer Club’s earliest members including: Echo Robinson, Dora N. Groesbeck, Louise Bond, Zella Piersall, Elizabeth Young, Hilda Herz, Nettie McDonald, Dolores Samuel Young, and Minerva Pierce.
This exhibition is co-curated by longtime Reno art specialist Jack Bacon and Ann M. Wolfe, Andrea and John C. Deane Family Senior Curator and Deputy Director at the Nevada Museum of Art. Particular emphasis is placed on Latimer’s time spent in Nevada and in Lake Tahoe
The first major book on Lorenzo Latimer, published by Jack Bacon & Company in association with the Nevada Museum of Art, accompanies the exhibition. The primary essay is authored by Alfred Harrison, with a foreword by Ann M. Wolfe. The 204-page catalogue includes over 100 full-color plates. Jack Bacon has published numerous books since 1983, including: Jack Johnson vs. James Jeffries “The Fight of the Century,” The Art of Lyle V. Ball, Dempsey in Nevada, Preserving Traces of the Great Basin Indians, and many others.