Nicknamed “Architect to the Stars,” Paul Revere Williams (1894–1980) was the first licensed African American architect to work in the western region of the United States. Among his client list were Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, and E.L. Cord, and he is associated with several architectural icons of Los Angeles including the Beverly Hills Hotel and the LAX Airport. Despite these and many other accomplishments, Williams’ work is often under-recognized. Organized by the Nevada Museum of Art, Janna Ireland on the Architectural Legacy of Paul Revere Williams in Nevada focuses on Williams’ work through the photographs of contemporary artist Janna Ireland.   

Since 2016, Ireland has captured Williams’ architecture from a fine arts perspective, producing photographs that highlight the intimate interior and exterior details of his buildings while bringing her own poetic response to Williams’ work. Ireland’s initial body of photographs focused on Williams’ work in Southern California. In 2021, Ireland was named a Peter E. Pool Research Fellow of the Center for Art + Environment of the Nevada Museum of Art, a fellowship that supports the study and photography of Williams’ Nevada work. These photographs are on view for the first time in the exhibition.

Williams’ architectural contributions collectively helped to redefine the built environment of the Western region.

Through the photographs of Janna Ireland, Williams’ many contributions to the architectural landscape of Nevada can now be known. We are proud to present his vision to those who may not know the work of this important Black architect.

Carmen Beals, Associate Curator and Outreach Director of the Nevada Museum of Art

In 1923, Williams became the first black member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). In 2017, nearly 40 years after his death, he became the first black recipient of the AIA Gold Medal.

For more information on this exhibition, visit alegacyrevered.org.

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