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Change in the Air

Integral infrastructure updates are just around the corner for the 24 museums and sites owned by the Oklahoma Historical Society, and caretakers are practically giddy about it. “The two and a half million dollars is going to go so far,” says Chantry Banks, executive director of Preservation Oklahoma, which manages the Henry and Anna Overholser Mansion. “Getting the roof repaired...

The People’s Museum

Prior to the start of the Oklahoma Capitol Restoration Project, the Oklahoma Arts Council (OAC) removed, housed, cleaned and restored hundreds of art pieces. With the construction phase coming to a close, it’s time for the art to be reinstalled. Two collections managed by the OAC are the Oklahoma State Capitol Art Collection and the Oklahoma State Art Collection.  “There...

Blowin’ In the Wind

On May 10, Tulsa will have yet another reason to be dubbed a cultural mecca. That is the date the Bob Dylan Center will open – with over 100,000 pieces collected over several decades by the esteemed musician and his management team. “We hope visitors will be inspired by unprecedented access to the creative process of one of America’s foremost...

Honoring Sacrifice

Members of the Oklahoma National Guard have distinguished themselves at home and abroad for more than a century, and soon their story will be told in a state-of-the-art museum. What’s now known as the 45th Infantry Division Museum will undergo a name change when it’s moved into a new 61,000-square-foot building, and the focus will be both expanded and narrowed...

Commemorating the Fabric of Oklahoma

The long-awaited First Americans Museum has a story to tell to the world, and the visitor experience is vital to the mission. But the museum will also honor the cultures of the 39 tribes based in Oklahoma, with features not so easily recognized by non-Natives. “The entire project was designed to align with the cardinal directions, so the special times of...

Exhibitions Abound

Jewelry, photography and sculptures are part of this month’s art exhibitions in Oklahoma. Jewelry created from construction materials are featured in Building on the Body through Sept. 22 at Tulsa’s 108 Contemporary. At Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Dorthea Lange’s America, a photography exhibition about the Great Depression, debuts Sept. 13. It showcases images by many talented photographers of the era. The...

A State Not Tilting at Windmills

Before gargantuan, high-tech turbines dotted Oklahoma’s plains, pioneers harnessed wind energy with wooden-and-metal contraptions that allowed them to survive. Many are still in use today. That slice of history is chronicled with real-life and functional exhibits at the Shattuck Windmill Museum. Opened in 1996, the project was the dream of Phillis Ballew and her husband, Dan, who showed how windmills...

At the Museums

When he’s not performing, singer/songwriter Bob Dylan spends his time sketching, drawing and painting. Tulsa’s Gilcrease Museum, in conjunction with the Bob Dylan Center, presents Bob Dylan: Face Value and Beyond through Sept. 15. The exhibit showcases writings, drawings and personal effects from the performer. Visit gilcrease.org for details. The Philbrook Museum in Tulsa commissioned Jason Lee (photographer, actor and...

A Town Using Its Noodle

Pauls Valley might consider a slight change in its nickname – from Queen of the Washita River to Queen of Quirkiness. The town presents itself that way. Take the Toy and Action Figure Museum. In 2000, city leaders and residents formed a committee to find ways to lure visitors. “At a meeting, I joked that my studio, which already had several...

Star Power

Reopening the second-floor galleries of the Oklahoma City Museum of Art is exciting, but the headline, no doubt, is the museum’s recent acquisition of Kehinde Wiley’s new, large-scale portrait, Jacob de Graeff, from the artist’s St. Louis exhibition. “Jacob de Graeff not only adds an important work by one of the most exciting contemporary artists creating today, but also builds...