Hans Meyer-Kassel
Artist of Nevada

The paintings of Hans Meyer-Kassel (1872-1952) have hung in the castles of kings and the homes of presidents. Still today, decades after his death, his artwork can be found in state capitols, university campuses, historical societies, court houses, government buildings and museums across the United States and Europe. His artwork lives in archives, books, magazines and even on a United States postage stamp—as well as in the homes of scores of Nevada families. Classically trained as a painter at the University of Munich in his native Germany, Meyer-Kassel immigrated to the United States at the end of World War I to escape the post-war tumult. He endured the Great Depression in New York City, but after being invited to exhibit in Pasadena, California in 1935, he became enamored with the American West. Within a year, he and his wife, Maria, moved to Reno, later relocating to Carson City, before settling in Genoa, where he worked from his small studio at the base of the Tahoe Range. Meyer-Kassel loved Nevada from the time of his first visit, and over the next three decades, he built his reputation as one of the most prolific and successful artists in the region. While his primary interest was portraiture, he also became known for his vividly colored floral still lifes, and his depictions of Nevada’s vast desert expanses, river valleys, and cloud-filled skies.

This exhibition is co-curated by Ann M. Wolfe, Senior Curator and Deputy Director at the Nevada Museum of Art, and longtime Reno art specialist Jack Bacon. It includes over fifty drawings, pastels and oil paintings drawn from private and institutional collections. Particular emphasis is placed on Meyer-Kassel’s romance with Nevada, where from his home in Genoa, his more formal, classically influenced style mellowed into a painterly perfection that resulted in breathtaking interpretations of Nevada’s landscape.

On the occasion of this exhibition, Jack Bacon & Company will publish the first major book on Hans Meyer-Kassel in association with the Nevada Museum of Art. The primary essay will be authored by longtime Nevada historian Guy Clifton, with a foreword by Ann M. Wolfe. The book will include 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.

This exhibition is made possible by the generosity of these sponsors:

Sponsors: Nevada Arts Council; The Private Bank by Nevada State Bank; Sandy Raffealli/Porsche of Reno; Volunteers in Art of the Nevada Museum of Art; Edgar F. Kleiner

Supporting Sponsors: Anonymous; Jenny and Garrett Sutton | Corporate Direct, Inc.

Hans Meyer-Kassel, Carson Valley in Spring, 1952, Pastel on board, 21 x 25 inches. Nevada Historical Society, Gift of H. William Brooks

Hans Meyer-Kassel, Untitled, (Nevada), not dated, Oil on board, 48 x 36 inches. Collection of the Nevada Museum of Art, Promised Gift of Edgar F. and Ella C. Kleiner

Hans Meyer-Kassel, Pyramid Lake, Nevada, 1946, Pastel on board, 25 x 34 ½ inches. Collection of Mary K and Mark Knobel