Like many other young women of my approximate age, I’ve long since been a fan of Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge. Having seen most of his filmography by now, I’m inclined to think of that movie as Baz at his peak: the right actors, the right story, the right music, the perfect amount of over the top spectacle without going too far over the top, an effective editor. It’s almost impossible not to get caught up in it. If/when I visit Paris, I really want to see the cabaret itself, just because I loved the movie so much. So when I found out that there was an exhibit of Toulouse-Lautrec’s work at the Nevada Museum of Art, I knew I wanted to go see it. Besides, the museum is right across the street from where I work.
When I walked in, the lady at the admission desk asked me if I’d been there before, and when I said I hadn’t, she recommended going up onto the rooftop desk even though it was a chilly day. I’m glad I took her advice, it’s a gorgeous view of the city.
From there, I moved down to the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit. The works aren’t just his (in fact there are relatively few of his paintings and posters as a percentage of the total number in the exhibit), it also features pieces by his contemporaries in Montmartre, including the famous “Tournee du Chat Noir”. It was an interesting look at the new art movement that began to take hold in Paris at the turn of the century, and it was cool to see teenagers plopped down on the floor sketching in front of it.
After I took in as much of it as I wanted, I decided to explore the rest of the museum. It’s a fairly small museum, but there was a neat Warhol exhibit with his portraits of athletes (including a pre-murder OJ) and photographs by and of Frida Kahlo, as well as some Nevada-based artists. I went back down to the main floor, took a lap through the gift shop to see if anything jumped out at me from a Christmas-shopping perspective, and left. If I’d wanted to have food, though, there is a café inside the museum.
The Nevada Museum of Art is located in midtown Reno. Admission is $10, with no surcharge for exhibits. The Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday.