By Kathleen D. Glynn
The new art museum at the University of Nevada, Reno is up and running. “The John and Geraldine Lilley Museum of Art” houses over five thousand works of art acquired by generous donors and acquisitions by the museum all now housed together for the first time. As a teaching and research museum it is fully integrated into the University’s arts curriculum. The Director of the museum, Paul Baker Prindle, holds an MFA in printmaking and Fine Arts and has studied extensively in the US and abroad. He has been with the arts department for six years and so is familiar with the challenges of running a museum, developing a relevant curriculum for the students and the workings of the University itself. He will place an emphasis on contemporary artists in the temporary gallery to keep the students informed of trends and developments in the art world and may include talks by an array of scholars whose life work is to teach what art is. Prindle wants the museum goers-both students and the public – to feel the space is welcoming, friendly, engaging and sometimes challenging.
The objects in the collection include paintings, works on paper, ceramics, rugs, sculpture, photography and jewelry and range from ancient Chinese ceramics to contemporary works of art and encompassing the representational to the abstract. In the main gallery space, there is a visible storage area that allows the visitor to have a peek of objects not on view and hints at the depth and variety of the collection. On the second floor there is a study area for works-on-paper as well as gallery space for temporary exhibitions.
Currently on view in the main gallery is the exhibition, To Have and To Hold, a sampling from the permanent collection organized by themes of Time, Courtship & Family, Community, Politics, and Ritual and the Everlasting. It succeeds in giving an informative overview of the range and quality of the collection as well as including works specific to the mining legacy of Reno and the rich artistic contributions from Native American artists. The temporary exhibition, See Her,features the elegant painted and beaded works by Dyani White Hawk.
The museum is a wonderful and much-needed addition to the University and Reno. It will ensure the care of the objects in the collection for future generations.
Open Tue. and Wed. 12-4; Thurs and Fri 12-8;Sat. 10-8