One of the Silver State’s oldest cultural institutions, the Nevada Museum of Art, opened its doors in Reno 90 years ago. To punctuate an ongoing celebration, the Museum will showcase over 100 paintings from the San Francisco-based artist and teacher Lorenzo Latimer, along with works by Nevada 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. In 1921, these artists joined together to formally establish the “Latimer Art Club,” the founding volunteer organization of the Nevada Art Gallery, known today as the Nevada Museum of Art.
The Latimer School: Lorenzo Latimer and the Latimer Art Club opens July 31 and will run through March 27, 2022.
“Without the Latimer Art Club’s commitment to the visual arts in our region, the Museum wouldn’t be the institution it is today. It is fitting to acknowledge the foresight of the Latimer Art Club,” said Ann M. Wolfe, the Museum’s Andrea and John C. Deane Family Senior Curator and Deputy Director. “Our institution’s unique
emphasis on art, nature, landscape, science, and the humanities sets this Museum apart from other interdisciplinary art museums and has its roots in the history of the Latimer Art Club,” she said. Wolfe co-curated the exhibition, with Jack L. Bacon, a Reno-based art consultant and former gallery owner specializing in historical
Lorenzo Latimer first visited Fallen Leaf Lake on the south side of Lake Tahoe in the summer of 1914 to teach en plein air (outdoor) painting classes. In 1916, he was invited by two students to teach a painting class in Reno. He ultimately became a cherished member of the Northern Nevada arts community, returning annually to teach his signature watercolor style to burgeoning artists of Reno. In 1931, the Latimer Art Club was invited by Dr. James Church, art collector Charles Cutts, and other community leaders to join together to incorporate the nonprofit organization known as the Nevada Art Gallery, now the Nevada Museum of Art.
Historic Latimer Art Club paintings — featuring the Truckee Meadows, Washoe Valley, Lake Tahoe, and Pyramid Lake — are foundational to the history of Northern Nevada’s outdoor painting tradition. The Latimer Art Club remains active today, with over 90 members who come together for meetings, workshops, and to paint regularly throughout the area.
“To truly understand the art history of our region, we must acknowledge the contributions that the Latimer Art
Club has made over the years to enrich the cultural fabric our community,” said Wolfe.
The anniversary exhibition will be accompanied by a lavishly illustrated 350-page book with an essay on the
history of the Nevada Museum of Art by Wolfe and a biographical essay on Latimer by Alfred C. Harrison, a nineteenth-century painting scholar and art historian with a special emphasis on California art. The book is co-published by Jack Bacon & Company in association with the Museum and is available in the Museum store or here.
Lead Sponsor is the Wayne L. Prim Foundation. Major sponsor is 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: 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.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the Museum has organized The Latimer Art Club: Celebrating 100 Years – A Juried Exhibition from July 10 to September 1, 2021. This year, the Latimer Art Club celebrates its 100th anniversary. To honor this important milestone, the Museum presents a juried exhibition of present-day Latimer Art Club members.
Several opportunities commemorating the Museum’s anniversary are planned in the coming months.