This article was originally published by Double Scoop, Arts in Nevada, and is republished here with permission. All photos courtesy of Robin Cobbey.
Eureka County Undersheriff Tyler Thomas confirmed this week by phone that Eureka art collector Wally Cuchine died on Sept. 15 at age 75. The sheriff’s office was not able to release any additional details, as autopsy results are pending.
Cuchine was born in Helena, Montana in 1947 and graduated from Helena High School in 1966. He served in the Air Force for four years, lived in Las Vegas, graduated from Sierra Nevada College (now Sierra Nevada University) with a degree in environmental science, and settled in Eureka, population 480 as of the most recent census.
Cuchine collected the work of Nevada artists for decades and amassed more than 2,000 pieces—probably the largest collection of Nevada art anywhere. Both the trailer home he lived in and his “Shed Gallery” in another trailer on his property, were filled wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling with artworks. In 2013, he donated a large portion of his collection to the Ely Art Bank in Ely, where some of the works are on permanent display.
Cuchine was beloved by many in the Nevada art community. If anyone from the Double Scoop audience or beyond would like to share a photo, video, memory, or remembrance of him, please email them to email@example.com. We will compile and publish them in the coming weeks.
The catalog for the traveling exhibition Wally’s World: The Loneliest Art Collection in Nevada contains a glimpse of his collection.
Julia Moreno and Shevawn Von Tobel’s 2019 short film, Wally’s World: The Loneliest Art Collection, tells his story:
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