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Will James gets his due at Reno museum.

The fame of Will James has not endured like that of the earlier Western-subject artists Frederic Remington and Charles Russell, but in his time James was a renowned author and illustrator. He was a real cowboy who had ridden the ranges of Western Canada, broken wild horses in Montana, and even rustled cattle in Nevada--and served a stretch in prison there. With time on his hands, he developed his artistic skills.

This month, at Reno's Sierra Nevada Museum of Art, you can see the first major exhibit of James's work since his death in 1942. "Will James: The Spirit of the Cowboy" includes 90 paintings, watercolors, and drawings from private collections, many never before exhibited. You'll see drawings from a 1920 series he did for Sunset, titled Keno, the Cow-Horse. (The piece opens, "To my way of thinking, the little old cow-horse is the only animal that can be banked on, that's really a feller's friend.")

James was a skilled illustrator, and works such as Wild Horse Round-Up and Where the Bronco Twister Got His Name are packed with detail intended to draw the reader into the accompanying story. Two of James's books, Lone Cowboy and Smoky, were made into silent-screen films, and the show includes first editions of these and other works.

The museum, at 549 Court Street, is open 10 to 4 Tuesdays through Fridays (until 8 P.M. Wednesdays) and noon to 4 weekends. It's closed Christmas and New Year's. Admission is $1.50, 50 cents ages 6 to 12.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sierra Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, Nevada
Publication:Sunset
Date:Dec 1, 1985
Words:253
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