Last chance to see ‘The Loneliest Art Collection’ before it leaves town

Find Wally’s World: The Loneliest Art Collection in Nevada at the Nevada State Museum.

In the 1920s New York City artist Robert Cole Caples landed in Northern Nevada, where he would begin a series of works on the western landscape, creating mostly American modernist style paintings and works on paper before eventually heading back East.

At some point, his "Tonopah House" landed in the collection of Wally Cuchine, an art collector and owner of the Eureka Opera House in Eureka, Nevada, whose extensive art collection includes more than 1,500 works.

"Tonopah Houses" is one of the featured paintings in the Nevada Touring Initiative (NTI) traveling exhibition, Wally’s World: The Loneliest Art Collection in Nevada, at Nevada State Museum. The exhibit features works by 35 artists collected by Cuchine. Included are sculptures, etchings and paintings of small towns, landscapes and remnants of Nevada's mining industry that span several decades.

Named for Highway 50's nickname, "The Loneliest Road in America," the exhibit is a solid collection of styles and perspectives by diverse artists used to render the Silver State's diverse natural palette, rural areas, history and solitude.

In addition to a 1940 lithograph, "Washoe Valley Poplars" by James Lawrence who, like Caples, studied at New York's Art Students League, there's a dramatic early 1960s close-up watercolor of a horse in motion by Craig Sheppard, who in 1978 received the Artist of the Decade Award by the Nevada State Council on the Arts, and more recent works, including watercolors, oils and pastels by artists such as Ruth Hilts, Sidne Teske and Jean Legassick.

Wally's World: The Loneliest Art Collection In Nevada Through February 28, Thursday-Monday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Nevada State Museum, 309 S. Valley View Blvd., 486-5205.

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Kristen Peterson

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