M-shaped cowboy chaps from the long-demolished Mapes Hotel Casino

M-shaped cowboy chaps from the long-demolished Mapes Hotel Casino


Neon colors had a fashion comeback this past spring, reminding everyone of '80s slap bracelets and fanny packs, but neon lighting is also having a comeback, with the opening of the Neon Museum in Las Vegas, and the unveiling of a new collection of vintage neon at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno. Will Durham collected his first neon sign in 1996, and has been amassing a group ever since to testify to an integral part of Nevada's history. With the museum, Durham has spent the past 10 years cleaning, fixing, and restoring fixtures from iconic restaurants, casinos, hotels, and business establishments. Highlights of The Light Circus: Art of Nevada Neon Signs include the M-shaped cowboy chaps sign from former Mapes Hotel Casino (shown) and other signs from the Sahara, a former casino on the Vegas Strip, and El Cholo, one of Nevada's oldest Mexican restaurants. Through Feb. 10. • nevadaart.org