Charles F. Cutts

Charles F. Cutts was a major force behind the Nevada Art Gallery. Born in Wakefield, New Hampshire in 1871, Cutts came to Nevada in 1891. He had been educated at Packard College, an early commercial business school founded in New York City in 1858 on the upper floors of the famed Cooper Union Building. Cutts settled in Carson City and ran a successful dry goods store on Carson Street for over twenty-five years. Married in 1897 to Bertha L. Meyers, he was widowed only seven years later. He retired from his business in 1918, and went to France to serve with the American Red Cross during World War I.

Returning to Nevada in 1919, Cutts purchased a home at 643 Ralston Street in Reno. From his travels around the world, he acquired all manner of paintings and decorative arts, and developed a substantial personal library of art books, rare books, and medieval manuscripts. According to tradition, he was, in Edda Houghton's words, "a peculiarly thrifty man, pinching pennies to save more for his collecting."

Cutts was persuaded by his friend, Dr. James Church, to co-found the Nevada Art Gallery in 1931. While Church was the driving force of the Gallery, assisted by the members of the Latimer Art Club and many community cultural leaders, Cutts was an important mainstay. Childless, he was persuaded by Church to leave his estate to the Nevada Art Gallery. Unfortunately, he left two conflicting wills, which named both the Nevada Art Gallery and the University of Nevada. After his death in 1949, the probate court settled the matter between the institutions, and in 1954, more than twenty years after its establishment, the Nevada Art Gallery had as its first facility Cutts's home, and as its founding acquisition, Cutts's personal collection.

Geographic Area: 

Article Locations

Further Reading

None at this time.