Tahoe: A Visual History at the Nevada Museum of Art & Sundance Books

After gathering Karen from the Reno Airport, we headed directly to the Nevada Museum of Art for an incredible afternoon of serious art surveying.


This was my first visit to this unique museum, nestled in Downtown Reno. I loved it so much I became a member.
We both delighted in being greeted by Deborah Butterfield’s “Horse" before even entering the building.
Before embarking on our explore, a delicious lunch was enjoyed at chez louie, described as "fun, modern, and affordable, bringing high-class cuisine to a comfortable, friendly, and truly unique setting. Gifted Tastemaker & Owner, Mark Estee, complements the cultural fabric of the museum by highlighting seasonal ingredients and treating guests, volunteers, donors and members alike as family. The name chez louie is a combination of French word chez meaning “at the home of,” and louie (lui), Italian for “he/him,” loosely translated by Estee as friend."
Experience one of America’s most beloved landscapes like never before– through the eyes of 175 painters, photographers, architects, basket weavers, and sculptors. Immerse yourself in panoramic landscapes, sail on turquoise waters, soar to breathtaking mountain views. See Lake Tahoe come alive, artfully.
On display until January 10, 2016, this exhibit is a must-see. I plan to return several times to fully grasp all there was to contemplate.
This exhibition covered an incredible array of Tahoe history, including the exceptional baskets of Dat So La Lee and the history of the Washoe people.
It shared the history of the Chinese people with the very interesting installation by Hung Liu called Jiu Jin Shan (Old Gold Mountain). Recognized as America’s most important Chinese artist, Hung Liu’s work includes over two hundred thousand fortune cookies to create a symbolic gold mountain that engulfs railroad tracks running beneath. Liu references not only the history of the Chinese laborers who built the railroads to support the West Coast Gold Rush, but also the hope shared among these migrant workers that they could find material prosperity in the new world.
Okay, this one really blew me away- Pin River -- Tahoe Watershed. Maya Lin's wall installation uses thousands of staight pins to outline Lake Tahoe and note its tributaries, each tiny piece helping to create the whole. It is beyond amazing. By the way, Ms. Lin is the artist/architect who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, making made her an international celebrity while still a senior at Yale in 1981. Wow.
Karen and I both had our favorites. It was fun to discover one of Karen's most liked, Phyllis Shafer's Above Cave Rock, right outside the museum for a photo op. This was a fantastic beginning to Karen's visit to Tahoe and a must-see for everyone!
On my list of must visit places has been Sundance Books. Sundance Books and Music has been dedicated to supporting and enriching Northern Nevada's literary and musical landscape for nearly 30 years. Thanks to a partnership with Nevada Humanities and to support from the Nightingale Family Foundation, they regularly host readings, book signings, salons, and other literary and musical events throughout the year.
This place is way beyond the most interesting bookstore yet. Housed in the Levy House (1906), an elegant example of Classical Revival architecture. Where else can you find Ionic columns supporting the two-story portico- an entrance so grand you can't believe you're entering a bookstore? The house was built for William Levy, a prominent mining entrepreneur and local merchant who owned the Palace Dry Goods store. Between the Palace Dry Goods, which operated until 1932, and his interests in the Unionville Mining Company, William Levy was able to finance the construction of this imposing home.

I'm a firm believer that each town holds treasures just waiting to be discovered. Today, we found two that are priceless. What a fabulous Reno day.

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