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Thursday, March 30, 2017
Late actor Bill Paxton honored with parents' art collection at Nevada Museum of Art
SELECT ARTWORKS FROM THE JOHN AND MARY LOU PAXTON COLLECTION HONORING LATE ACTOR BILL PAXTON AND HIS PARENTS CURRENTLY ON VIEW AT NEVADA MUSEUM OF ART
Exhibition celebrates Paxton family’s legacy and their life-long passion for collecting fine art.
Nevada Museum of Art personnel were deeply saddened by the
sudden loss of actor Bill Paxton late last month. First introduced to
the Nevada Museum of Art, Donald W. Reynolds Center for the Visual Arts,
E. L. Wiegand Gallery in 2003, Paxton and his parents, John and Mary
Lou Paxton, became steadfast friends with the cultural institution’s
curators and executive staff. In 2006, John and Mary Lou promised a
bequest of their art collection to the Museum. To honor the couple’s
generosity, that same year the Museum mounted an exhibition and produced
a catalogue entitled Selections from the John and Mary Lou Paxton Collection.
John Paxton passed away in 2011, and Mary Lou in 2016. The official
announcement of the realized bequest was to be made later this year at
the Museum during a special celebration with Bill Paxton, following a
spring exhibition of his parents’ collection. The John and Mary Lou Paxton Collection: A Gift for the Nevada Museum of Artopened
on February 26, one day after Bill's untimely passing, and will remain
on view through June 4, 2017 at the Nevada Museum of Art, Donald W.
Reynolds Center for the Visual Arts, E. L. Wiegand Gallery located at
160 West Liberty Street in downtown Reno.
The John and Mary Lou Paxton Collection showcases a life-long
collecting passion, spanning a variety of international as well as
regional artists. Works by American artists Nathan Oliviera, David
Ligare, and Wolf Kahn contrast with the Bauhaus-inspired works of
Herbert Bayer and the minimal abstractions of American painter Frederick
Hammersley. These abstract works balance against the Paxtons’ interest
in art of the American Southwest including Fritz Scholder, Jaune
Quick-to-See-Smith, and Randy White.
“The works…are more than paintings to me; they are my memories of
growing up in my parents’ home,” said Bill Paxton in September 2016.
Growing up in Missouri in the 1940s, John Paxton became fascinated with
art when famous American Regionalist painter Thomas Hart Benton moved in
next door. The Paxtons and Bentons became fast friends; John even posed
for Benton in the painting Shipping Out (1942) now in the collection of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art.
In the 1950s, John and Mary Lou moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where John
joined the board of the Fort Worth Art Museum and the couple began to
build their intensely personal collection of contemporary art. After
moving to the San Diego area in 1980, the Paxtons continued to visit
galleries, often meeting and becoming friends with the artists whose
works they collected. The life-long pursuit resulted in a significant
collection ranging from representational paintings to abstract pieces.
The relationship between the Paxtons and the Nevada Museum of Art began
in 2003, and grew from a shared affinity for and interest in the West.
Visiting Reno several times over the years, the Paxtons became impressed
by the Museum’s growing collections, Reno community, and Will
Bruder-designed facility that pays homage to the northern Nevada
landscape. Over the past decade, the Nevada Museum of Art was fortunate
to develop a close friendship with the Paxton family.
“While the Museum mourns the loss of this lovely couple and their son,
we celebrate John and Mary Lou’s thoughtful and generous gift to the
Nevada Museum of Art and our community,” said David B. Walker, Nevada
Museum of Art executive director and CEO.
The John and Mary Lou Paxton Collection: A Gift for the Nevada Museum of Art
will be on view through June 4, 2017 at the Nevada Museum of Art,
Donald W. Reynolds Center for the Visual Arts, E. L. Wiegand Gallery,
located at 160 West Liberty Street in downtown Reno’s Liberty District.
This exhibition is presented in memoriam of Bill Paxton (1955 – 2017).
HIGH RESOLUTION INSTALLATION IMAGES AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD HERE.
About Nevada Museum of Art
Nevada Museum of Art is the only AAM accredited art museum in Nevada. A
private, non-profit organization founded in 1931, the Reno-based
institution is supported by its membership as well as sponsorships,
gifts and grants. Through its permanent collections, original
exhibitions and programming, and E.L. Cord Museum School, the Nevada
Museum of Art provides meaningful opportunities for people to engage
with a range of art and educational experiences. Its Center for Art +
Environment is an internationally-recognized research center dedicated
to supporting the practice, study, and awareness of creative
interactions between people and their environments. The Center houses
unique archive materials from more than 1,000 artists working on all
seven continents, including Cape Farewell, Michael Heizer, Walter de
Maria, Lita Albuquerque, Burning Man, Center for Land Interpretation,
and Ugo Rondinone’s Seven Magic Mountains.
The John and Mary Lou Paxton Collection:
A Gift for the Nevada Museum of Art, installation view, 2017. Courtesy
of the Nevada Museum of Art.
Donald W. Reynolds Center for the Visual Arts
E. L. Wiegand Gallery
160 West Liberty Street, Reno, Nevada, 89501 775.329.3333