Overview

Title: Walter McNamara Papers
Creator(s): McNamara, Walter
Collection Number: 2012-03
Dates (inclusive): 1968-2009
Physical Extent: 0.25 cubic feet (1 box and MSS Map Case folder)
Repository: University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department
Permanent Link: http://dewey.library.unr.edu/xtf/view?docId=ead/2012-03-ead.xml

Biographical Note

Born in Stamford, Connecticut in 1939, Walter McNamara’s family relocated to the Reno, Nevada area in 1947. He attended the University of Nevada, Reno where he studied art. In 1964, he was hired as curator of the University's Sheppard Art Gallery, a position he served in until his retirement in 1992. Over the years in that position, he brought in a number of influential and diverse artists to exhibit their work including Nancy Grossman, Manuel Neri, Robert Arneson, Deborah Butterfield, John Altoon, Joan Brown, and William T. Wiley.

His retirement in 1992 in order to pursue his art on a full-time basis was a continuation of his career in creating art that focuses on the use of natural (e.g. bone, rocks, and wood) and man-made components. He has worked in many media formats including ceramics, drawing, painting mostly in the form of sculpture and collages. McNamara is most well-known for his distinct style of assembling objects that are not often associated as art into sculpture. His art work is represented in many private and public collections including the City of Reno, Convex Corporation in Illinois, Utah Museum of Fine Art, Nevada Museum of Art, and Rio Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas.

Beginning in the early 1960s through the present, McNamara displayed his work in numerous prestigious exhibits, including the Whitney Museum Annual, Drawings USA, the Denver Art Museum and the Drawing Society National Touring Exhibit. He has received many grants and awards including two Nevada State Council of Art fellowships in 1989 and 1994, a City 2000 Reno Arts Commission grant in 1993, and an Annual Nevada Governor's Arts Award. Since 1965, McNamara has exhibited his work in over 50 solo exhibitions. One of those solo exhibits took place at the Nevada Museum of Art (1994). In addition, in 2012 McNamara exhibited three separate solo exhibits at the Oats Park Art Center in Fallon, and Truckee Meadows Community College and McKinley Arts and Cultural Center, both in Reno.

He continues to work on collage and sculpture in his north Reno studio with his partner Lynda Yuroff.

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Scope and Content

The Walter McNamara Papers contains materials related to McNamara’s many exhibits, however, it is unlikely that this is a complete collection of his exhibits. It represents an excellent sampling of them, mostly in the form of announcements and posters.

A majority of the collection is comprised of posters and announcements for his numerous exhibits and range from small mailed flyers to large. These announcements typically include exhibit location information, title, collaborators, and some dates; dates do not always include the year of the exhibit. Also included is a catalog for his 1994 exhibit at the Nevada Museum of Art entitled “Bone-Horn-Wood-Etc.;” media articles relating to his artwork and exhibitions; and information on the 1986 Nevada Governor’s Arts Awards for which McNamara sculpted an original piece entitled “Arrowhead Nevada.” A biographical article written by Kirk Robertson in 1998 and published in the Reno News & Review is included.

Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Walter McNamara in 2012.

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Arrangement

  • Materials are arranged by type and chronologically.

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Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog of the University Libraries, University of Nevada, Reno. Researchers wishing to find related materials are encouraged to use the following index terms:

Organizations:

People:

Subjects:



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Administrative Information

Collection processed by Jessica Maddox, December 2016. Finding aid prepared by Jessica Maddox, December 2016. This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on December 21, 2016.

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Detailed Description of the Records

Box
Folder
Contents
1
1
Art show announcements, 1968-1979
1
2
Art show announcements, 1980-1989
1
3
Art show announcements, 1990-1999
1
4
Art show announcements, 2000-2009
1
5
Art show announcements, undated
1
6
Walter J. McNamara catalogs, 1994
1
7
1986 Governor’s Art Awards Program, 1986-1997
1
8
Art shows: Media stories, 1962-1989; undated
1
9
William McNamara biographical coverage, 1998
Folder
Item
Contents
1
1
Poster: “Faculty Exhibit-North/South” University of Nevada, Reno and University of Nevada, Las Vegas, September 9-October; and October 10-November 4, no year
Folder
Item
Contents
1
2
Poster: “Walter McNamara, Ceramic Sculpture and Drawings,” University of Nevada, Las Vegas Art Gallery, March 15-26, no year
Folder
Item
Contents
1
3
Poster: “Darrell Forney Paintings and Walt McNamara Sculpture,” Church Fine Arts Building, University of Nevada, Reno, October 18, no year
Folder
Item
Contents
1
4
Poster: “Pit: 39°, 30’N, 1180 65W; Site 1” Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery, University of Nevada, Reno, November 30-December 30, 1985
Folder
Item
Contents
1
5
Poster: “Walter McNamara, Sculpture—Fred Reid Sculpture and Watercolor” Church Fine Arts Gallery, Department of Art, University of Nevada, Reno, September 9-30, circa 1975
Folder
Item
Contents
1
6
Poster: “Some Nevada People Making Art” Artists Contemporary Gallery, Sacramento Reception, April 20, no year
Folder
Item
Contents
1
7
Poster: “King Art: UNR Art Department Faculty Show” Church Fine Arts Gallery, University of Nevada, Reno, January 7-19, no year
Folder
Item
Contents
1
8
Poster: “Annual Alumni Exhibition, Alumni Sculptors” Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery, University of Nevada, Reno, October 11-30, 1991
Folder
Item
Contents
1
9
Poster: “Sun 81, Summer Art” Sheppard Galleries, Church Fine Arts Building, University of Nevada, Reno, June 30, July 17, August 17, circa 1981
Folder
Item
Contents
1
10
Poster: “It’s Not New York But It’s New Nevada Summer Sculpture 80” Sheppard Gallery, University of Nevada, Reno, June 27-July 25, 1980
Folder
Item
Contents
1
11
Poster: “Walter McNamara, Sculpture” Artists Contemporary Gallery, October 7-November 2, 1978
Folder
Item
Contents
1
12
Poster: “A Cup and Goblet Show” Church Fine Arts Gallery, University of Nevada, Reno, April 10-30, 1974
Folder
Item
Contents
1
13
Poster: “New Work (Horns)” Center Gallery, Center for Religion and Life, Reno, October 8, 1971
Folder
Item
Contents
1
14
Poster: “1969-70 Faculty-Staff Exhibition” University of Nevada, Reno, undated
Folder
Item
Contents
1
15
Poster: “Walter McNamara” Pinion Gallery, Reno, January 29-February 24, 1967
Folder
Item
Contents
1
16
Poster: “All Nevada Painting and Sculpture Exhibit” Nevada Art Gallery, March 31-April 21, 1968