Genoans dedicate monument to Nevada artist
More than 70 people turned out for the dedication of a monument to Genoa artist Hans Meyer-Kassel on Saturday.
Located in front of the Genoa Courthouse Museum, the monument featuring one of Meyer-Kassel’s paintings was unveiled by his nephew H. William Brooks and author Jack Bacon.
Gov. Brian Sandoval sent his regrets for not being able to attend through Nevada Museum of Art Communications Director Amanda Horn.
“Gov. Sandoval is very much in love with Nevada, and with the work of Hans Meyer-Kassel,” she said. “He has been a steadfast friend to the Nevada Museum of Art.”
Sandoval proclaimed May 19 a day in honor of Meyer-Kassel.
Meyer-Kassel was a famous painter before he came to the United States, and was dubbed professor by Kaiser Wilhelm after painting a portrait of the ruler’s niece, according to his obituary published in The Record-Courier.
He died Aug. 29, 1952, in Nevada’s oldest town after moving there in 1945. His wife Maria lived another 32 years, supporting the town and keeping his memory alive.
In the proclamation, Sandoval recognized the permanent monument to recognize Meyer-Kassel, who “was German by birth, American by law and Nevadan by choice.”
“What a pleasure it has been working on this extraordinary exhibition, and bringing this moment, with this whole community gathering and rallying around this incredible artist,” Horn said.
She said that art allows the viewer to enjoy the moment.
“When we have the privilege of really reflecting on the beauty of our region through the hand of an artist as talented as Hans Meyer-Kassel it is really a gift,” she said. “That’s the lasting legacy of the artist.”
Douglas County Historical Society Trustee Frank Dressel read a proclamation approved by county commissioners.
Publisher Jack Bacon, who produced the 204-page book of Meyer-Kassel’s work with essays by former R-C Editor Guy Clifton, donated $2,000 to the historical society to maintain the monument.
He said the painting etched on the monument was created by Meyer-Kassel to commemorate the centennial of Nevada’s first settlement at Genoa, Bacon said. The July 14, 1951, celebration was attended by Gov. Charles Russell.
The painting was chosen by The U.S. Post Office as the design of the commemorative stamp issued in honor of the town.
Living in Genoa helped him in “the creation of his finest work including breathtaking interpretations of the Carson Valley, Lake Tahoe, Pyramid Lake and Nevada’s desert landscapes,” Bacon said.
Books and note cards are available for sale at both the Genoa Courthouse and the Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center.
Brooks attended school in the building that served as Douglas County’s first courthouse from 1951 to 1954.
Brooks thanked all the people who made the monument and exhibition possible, donating a framed print of the painting for permanent display at the Genoa Courthouse Museum.
“Maria (Meyer-Kassel, Brooks’ aunt) spent much of her remaining years trying to keep the Meyer-Kassel collection together as much as economic necessity allowed, so that the public could enjoy Hans’ work,” he said. “Thanks to the collaboration of many individuals and entities who contributed their special talents and resources, what started as an appraisal exercise evolved into a significant exhibition of his work at multiple locations throughout Northern Nevada.”
The Meyer-Kassel exhibition is scheduled to be at the Nevada Museum of Art through Sept. 2.
Bacon is scheduled to speak on his efforts to chronicle Meyer-Kassel’s life and art, 6 p.m. June 14 at the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center, 1477 Highway 395, Gardnerville.
For more information, visit http://www.HistoricNV.org