The paintings of Hans Meyer-Kassel (1872-1952) have hung in the castles of kings and the homes of presidents. Still today, decades after his death, his artwork can be found in state capitols, university campuses, historical societies, court houses, government buildings and museums across the United States and Europe. His artwork lives in archives, books, magazines and even on a United States postage stamp—as well as in the homes of scores of Nevada families. Classically trained as a painter at the University of Munich in his native Germany, Meyer-Kassel immigrated to the United States at the end of World War I to escape the post-war tumult. He endured the Great Depression in New York City, but after being invited to exhibit in Pasadena, California in 1935, he became enamored with the American West. Within a year, he and his wife, Maria, moved to Reno, later relocating to Carson City, before settling in Genoa, where he worked from his small studio at the base of the Tahoe Range. Meyer-Kassel loved Nevada from the time of his first visit, and over the next three decades, he built his reputation as one of the most prolific and successful artists in the region. While his primary interest was portraiture, he also became known for his vividly colored floral still lifes, and his depictions of Nevada’s vast desert expanses, river valleys, and cloud-filled skies.
This exhibition is co-curated by Ann M. Wolfe, Senior Curator and Deputy Director at the Nevada Museum of Art, and longtime Reno art specialist Jack Bacon. It includes over fifty drawings, pastels and oil paintings drawn from private and institutional collections. Particular emphasis is placed on Meyer-Kassel’s romance with Nevada, where from his home in Genoa, his more formal, classically influenced style mellowed into a painterly perfection that resulted in breathtaking interpretations of Nevada’s landscape.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website