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Crowd turns out for artists’ exhibits

by Joyce Hollister

A strolling violinist played popular songs from the 1930s and ’40s as Carson Valley residents and out-of-town art lovers enjoyed the opening reception of “Seen About Town, The Art of Lew Hymers” and “Juanita Schubert Rediscovered,” two exhibits now at the Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center.

Museum curator Cecile Brown said some 80 people attended the reception, including the Valleys Clarence Godecke, who had allowed the use of a drawing by Hymers that featured him as an aviator during World War II.

The drawing was an original Seen About Town column, the only large original for the Seen About Town column in the exhibit and owned by Godecke.

Seen About Town was a highly regarded column of caricatures of the movers and shakers in Northern Nevada during the 1930s and ’40s drawn by Hymers, a long-time resident of Genoa. It was printed weekly in the Reno Evening Gazette.

Other Valley residents of note included in Godecke’s drawing were Bill Nelson, Mack Andrews and Wilbourne Andrews, as well as Private Denver Dickerson, who was later Speaker of the Nevada Assembly, and Gordon Bovett of Las Vegas, among others.

Working drawings of columns and pages in Nevada magazine (published in Minden at the time) and one wall filled with various drawings by Hymers make up the exhibit. Most of these are owned by the Nevada Historical Society and are on loan.

Exhibit cases display items owned by the Carson Valley Historical Society, such as drawings, books, stock cuts – metal engravings that were used in the lead-type printing process of the time period.

Also in one of the cases is the original Record-Courtier masthead cast in lead. The masthead was designed by Hymers, Brown said.

Highlighted in the cases are Douglas County High School yearbooks from 1940.

Each member of the class was caricatured by Hymers that year.

Brown made lapel buttons for members of the class of 1940 to wear during the evening, and some 25 of them attended the event.

They seemed especially pleased to wear their buttons, she reported.

Jim McCormick, who had curated a show of Hymers’ work in Reno earlier this year and published a book called, “Seen About Town, The Art of Lew Hymers,” signed his book and answered questions about the exhibit.

He and his assistant, Colleen Nielsen, helped Brown hang the show last month.

McCormick’s book features selected drawings and columns as well as an essay on Hymers’ life. It is available for sale at the museum gift shop.

Danny Yale, conductor of the Carson Valley Pops Orchestra, was the violinist for the event, held last Friday night.

Hors d’oeuvres were provided by Harrah’s Tahoe and desserts by Harveys Resort Hotel/Casino. The Carson Valley Lions Club provided insurance for the show, and donating materials and services were Tomalas Custom Cabinets and A Sign Shop.

The Juanita Schubert Rediscovered exhibit drew much attention, as her fine prints from Yosemite and the West reveal her highly creative talent.

Among the Schubert prints on the wall in the main gallery are several photos of the national park, other Western scenes and “Off to the Mountains,” a photo of a Dangberg Ranch cattle drive taken in the early 1940s.

Schubert earned an award for the cattle drive photo in 1943 from the Photographic Society of America.

The Schubert exhibit will open at the Genoa Courthouse Museum in the spring.

The exhibit is funded in part by a grant from the Nevada Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Both shows continue at the museum and cultural center through next year.

For more information, call 782-2555.