Monday, April 1, 2019

The Songs of the Fifty States: Nevada

(What is "The Songs of the Fifty States"?)


Size: 286,382 km2 (7th)

2018 Population: 3,034,392 (32nd)

Statehood: 1864 (36th)

American Human Development Index: 4.68 (37th)

Art Mecca:

Let's face it, you don't go to Nevada to look at art.  You go to Nevada because you need to get to someplace on the other side of Nevada, or to test your atomic weapons, or to wallow in the cess of cultural decay that is Las Vegas, not that I judge anyone's choices.

The Nevada Museum of Art is in the city of Reno, which is basically the same thing as Las Vegas except smaller and without as much intellectual rigor.  The museum has a very cool looking building and they are clearly giving it the old college try, but it has been an uphill struggle: founded 1931, hired staff in the 1970s, got accredited in the 1990s.   

The collection is divided into Art of the Greater West, Altered Landscape Photography, Contemporary Art, and, um... well, the Work Ethic in American Art Collection, whatever that is.  What that is, is hard to say, as NMA is conspicuously coy about what's actually in its collection.  If I'm not mistaken, their website does not offer even a single image to try to get us hooked!  This defensive vibe continues right into the mission statement:
We are a museum of ideas. While building upon our founding collections and values, we strive to offer meaningful art and cultural experiences, and foster new knowledge in the visual arts by encouraging interdisciplinary investigation.
Ooooh now we get it, you've never been able to afford much art!  Well, dang.  It's super-cool that Reno has an arts institution, and I sincerely wish them the best.  But unless I was spending the weekend in Reno anyway -- which, fat chance -- I don't know that I'd go too far out of my way to plunk down ten bucks for this show.

Michael 5000's Nevada

First Visited: May 1, 2005 (7th)
Most Recently Visited: September 14, 2017 (11th)
    ...although I was awfully close last weekend, too.

First Run In: 9/14/17 (23rd)
Best Run: 3.07 miles.  Truckee River Trail, Sparks, 9/14/17.
Raced In: No.

Have Admired the Visual Arts In: No. Although this could be considered found art.
Have Slept Overnight In: Yes.  I stayed with my father at an extremely economical motel in Elko many years ago now.  I realized it was adjacent to the airport runway, but he did not.  When a 737 started its takeoff roll at 6 a.m. a few hundred feet from our room, he tried to leap out of his bed as a natural reaction to the soul-crushing noise and ended up sprawled on the floor in a tangle of bedding.  This is not his favorite father-son roadtrip story. 

Counties Visited: 14/17 (31st)
% Complete: 82.4% (13th)

Mrs. 5000's Counties Visited: 8/17 (tied with Connecticut for 44th)
% Complete: 47.1% (22nd)
Mrs.5000 First Visited: Summer 1993 (46th)
Mrs.5000 Most Recently Visited: May 26, 2006 (30th)

Atlas of All Roads Travelled

Plans and Aspirations

I'd like to take the train from San Francisco east, which would be a very scenic way to go through Nevada.


mrs.5000 said...

OK, M5K, we all know--at least I know--you're a big permanent collections guy. Not every museum gets its start with a richly-endowed trove of Rembrandts, Wyeths, and Hodgkins. Some of them have to choose their own path, make their way in the world. Carve their mark on the landscape, etc. Did you even look at the current exhibitions at the Nevada Museum of Art? There's not a bad one in the bunch. Not to mention that they're behind the Orbital Reflector project, which I already knew about, because a friend had sent me the link, saying, "This is so cool!" Be supportive, already! If we ever find ourselves in Reno, I will insist on going.

Point 2--that day we stumbled across the fenced-in Neon Boneyard, years ago? One of my happiest travel memories ever. One of my favorite art experiences. Definitely my richest trove of photographs taken without looking through the viewfinder.

Morgan said...

Great Basin's a good place to go if you ever visit the great state of Nevada again.