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Over the past thirty years, Reno residents Edgar and Ella Kleiner have built a very personal collection of American paintings, with an emphasis on landscapes of the American West, portions of which will be on display at the Nevada Museum of Art as part of Selections from the Edgar F. and Ella C. Kleiner Collection on view November 6, 2010 through March 13, 2011. On the occasion of the Museum’s 80th Anniversary in 2011, the Kleiners have made many of the artworks on view in this exhibition a bequest to the Nevada Museum of Art.
“This is a very important and generous gift to the museum and to the community as a whole,” commented David B. Walker, Executive Director | CEO of the Nevada Museum of Art. “The Museum extends its sincerest thanks to the Kleiners. The works in this exhibition, many of which will be a bequest to the Museum, will fill a very important gap within the Museum’s Sierra Nevada | Great Basin Collection featuring works that survey the art of our geographic region.”
A shared love of landscapes, nature, and the environment have been primary motivators for the Kleiners while building their art collection—in fact, Edgar estimates he has made over 400 hiking, backpacking, and research forays into nature during his lifetime while Ella believes they have been to more than half of the places depicted in their paintings. Most of the art in their collection was purchased from galleries in northern Nevada, and the Kleiners have enjoyed getting to know many of the living artists whose works are represented in their collection. Artists whose works are on view in the exhibition include: Lorenzo Latimer, Hans Mayer-Kassel, Hildegard Herz, Jean LeGassick and Jeff Nicholson.
By the time Ed met and married Ella in Reno in 1973, they both had long been exposed to the fine arts and nature. Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Ella was first introduced to art by her father who was a metal engraver. Ed, who was raised on a farm in Illinois, remembers his first introduction to art at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign where he was studying as an undergraduate. Ed continued his graduate studies in plant ecology at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and joined the Department of Biology at the University of Nevada, Reno in 1969. He retired as Professor Emeritus in 1989 and played an instrumental role as the Founder (1983) and first Director of the Wilbur D. May Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, retiring in 1999.
The Kleiners share an appreciation for the historical and contemporary significance of the artworks in their collection. A biologist by training, Ed notes that the artworks he acquires allow him to “appreciate ecological change as time goes by,” while Ella adds that many of the paintings in their collection are “part of the historical record showing how things used to be in a drastically fast-changing environment.”
Selections from the Edgar F. and Ella C. Kleiner Collection will be exhibited November 6, 2010 through March 13, 2011 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 Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday. Cost: Museum members free; $10 adults; $8 students/seniors; $1 children 6 – 12; free for children five and under. For more information, please call 775.329.3333 or visit www.nevadaart.org.
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