Reno's Newest Museum

illustration of Nevada Museum of Art in Reno

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A blockbuster exhibit from south of the border will inaugurate the new home of the Nevada Museum of Art, opening May 24 in downtown Reno. Diego Rivera and Twentieth Century Mexican Art: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection presents a who's who of art in 20th-century Mexico, from Rivera and Frida Kahlo to José Clemente Orozco and Gunther Gerzso. Among the 140 works are Rivera's boldly painted Calla Lily Vendor and Kahlo's well-known and deeply personal Self-Portrait with Monkeys.

The museum itself is a work of art.

It is a sculptural mosaic of angles, curves, glass, and metal, a design inspired by the stark beauty of Nevada's Black Rock Desert. A dramatic torqued exterior wall wraps around much of the four-story building, which is clad in sheets of low-luster black zinc that are creased and folded to evoke the texture of dark desert rock. In addition to 13,500 square feet of galleries, the $16 million museum features a café, theater, and two sculpture gardens, including a rooftop terrace with views to the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada.

Founded in 1931, the Nevada Museum of Art is the state's oldest arts organization with a permanent collection focused on Nevada and the West.

Diego Rivera and Twentieth Century Mexican Art continues through September 21, although 15 paintings by Kahlo are on view through June 29 only. General admission is $7. Information: (775) 329-3333, www.nevadaart.org.

Photography courtesy of Nevada Museum of Art

This article was first published in May 2003. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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