Janna Ireland on the Architectural Legacy of Paul Revere Williams in Nevada

Tour Dates

Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas: December 3, 2022 – May 30, 2023.



About the Exhibition

This exhibition features the photography of Janna Ireland, who explores the important contributions of architect Paul R. Williams (1894-1980) in Nevada.

Williams was the first licensed African American architect to work in the western region of the United States, designing buildings from the 1920s to the 1970s. Williams worked in Nevada from 1934 through 1964, a time when African Americans faced racial discrimination throughout the United States and segregated residential communities were commonplace. Despite this racism, he went on to design over 3,000 architecturally significant structures during his lifetime.

Williams first built a name for himself as an architect in southern California. Some of those clients later commissioned him to design their residences in northern and central Nevada. After World War II, Williams expanded his practice into southern Nevada.

In 2021, Janna Ireland was awarded a Peter E. Pool Research Fellowship from the Nevada Museum of Art, and an invitation to survey and photograph all of Williams’ buildings in the state of Nevada. She approached his structures with the unique perspective of a contemporary photographer, making images that highlight the intimate interior and exterior details of his buildings. Her poetic response to his work invites reflection and thoughtful contemplation, while encouraging further inquiry and future discoveries.

This exhibition is organized by the Nevada Museum of Art and curated by Associate Curator Carmen Beals.

View PBS Reno Video →


Las Vegas Programs

Preview Reception: Janna Ireland on the Architectural Legacy of Paul Revere Williams in Nevada

Friday, December 2 \ 5 - 7 pm

Please join us at the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas, for a preview of the exhibition, Janna Ireland on the Architectural Legacy of Paul Revere Williams in Nevada. Presented in partnership with the Nevada Museum of Art, this exhibition features the contemporary photography of Janna Ireland, who explores the important contributions of architect Paul R. Williams (1894-1980) in Nevada. Williams was the first licensed African American architect to work in the western region of the United States, designing buildings in the 1920s through the 1970s. His work in Nevada spans from the 1930s through the 1970s.

Enjoy brief remarks by Nevada Museum of Art Associate Curator and Outreach Director, Carmen Beals, and photographer Janna Ireland.

Hosted reception. Advanced registration required.

Presented in partnership by the Nevada Museum of Art, the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas, with additional support from the Neon Museum.

NOTE: This event will be held at the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas.
309 S Valley View Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89107



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Past Programs

Through the Lens: Honoring the Architectural Legacy of Paul Revere Williams

Saturday, July 16 \ 9:30am to 1:30pm

The symposium featured contemporary photographer Janna Ireland in conversation with Daonne Huff, Director of Public Programs and Community Engagement at The Studio Museum in Harlem with additional presentations of recent research by Nevada Historians Alicia Barber and Claytee White on Paul Revere Williams’ architectural designs.

View the Symposium: Through the Lens: Honoring the Legacy of Paul Revere Williams →

The Architecture of Paul Revere Williams – A Walking Tour

Tuesday, July 26 \ 6:00 pm

The tour visited the original sites of charming and unique homes designed by Paul Revere Williams in Reno. Guided by Debbie Hinman,  the tour included visits to seven of the historic El Reno apartments and other locations, such as the August Hill & Sons stone houses and the home of millionaire LaVere Redfield.

A Look Inside the Historic Ranch House at Rancho San Rafael

Saturday, August 27 \ 10:00 am
Rancho San Rafael Regional Park
Main Ranch House
1595 N. Sierra Street in Reno

Historian and author Dr. Alicia Barber offered this on-site presentation on the lives of brothers Dr. Raphael Herman, Norman B. Herman, and Norman's wife, Mariana. In 1936, the trio commissioned Paul Revere Williams to design a custom home in the Classical Revival style which they renamed Rancho San Rafael.

Art Bite: Paul Revere Williams’ Architectural Legacy in Central and Northern Nevada

Friday, September 16 \ Noon

In this hour-long presentation, historian and author Dr. Alicia Barber, founder of the historical consulting firm Stories in Place, offered a glimpse into the architectural legacy of Paul Revere Williams in Northern and Central Nevada. 



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