Exploring Some Museums Around Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City probably isn't on most people's radar when it comes to fine art.  The city has only been in existence for about 120 years and is located smack dab in the middle of the Midwest.  It's not exactly a mecca for the high class society that usually sets trends in fine art.

But Oklahoma City has a very storied past that involves quite a bit of oil money.  And where there is lot's of money, you'll usually find contributors to the fine arts.  OKC is certainly no exception.  While most of the oil business left the city decades ago, many of the businesses that sprang up around that industry are still here.

There are an abundance of industries that stimulate a very strong economy in the area.  In fact one of the biggest air force bases in the country is located just outside of OKC.  Tinker air force base has been around since the 50's and now employs thousands of service personnel as well as thousands more civilian contractors.  You'll also find quite a few defense contractors that have moved into the area to service the base.

So there is quite a bit of money in the metropolitan area.  And as a result an interest in the arts has developed.  No better example of this is Oklahoma City of Art.  Here you'll find hundreds of exhibits from artists all over the world.  There are regular exhibitions from various locals. 

One such upcoming exhibit is the Dutch and Flemish Drawings from the Golden Age. 

Traveling outside of Great Britain for the first time, this marvelous new exhibition presents some of the most important works from the Victoria and Alberts outstanding collection of Dutch and Flemish drawings, one of the principle holdings in Britain. Showing approximately ninety works from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries, it includes masterpieces by Peter Paul Rubens, Sir Anthony van Dyck and Rembrandt van Rijn. Works by lesser-known artists are also included, as well as designs for architecture and the applied arts, demonstrating the diversity and enduring artistic and technical excellence of Netherlandish artists. This is the first time this remarkable and little-known collection has been exhibited internationally.

Another upcoming exhibit is the complete Works Progress Administration from the Great Depression.  These pieces were commissioned during the 1930s by one of Franklin Roosevelt's programs to help employ artists and uplift people during this challenging period of U.S. history. 

The Federal Art Project (FAP) was also responsible for establishing more than 100 art centers around the United States. Included among these was the WPA Experimental Gallery in Oklahoma City, which would become the WPA Oklahoma Art Center when the government funded a new, larger space, under the direction of well-known artist Nan Sheets. When President Roosevelt dissolved the WPA in 1942 following the outbreak of World War II, the Oklahoma Art Center became an independent entity. At that time, the Federal Art Project’s Central Allocation Unit gave twenty-eight works by twenty-six artists to the city of Oklahoma City. When the Museum’s predecessor, the Oklahoma Art Center, incorporated three years later, the WPA collection provided the basis for the Museum’s new permanent collection.

This exhibit will be at the museum for just a few more weeks.  It closes down on October 22, 2017.  You can easily get tickets if you're going to be in the OKC area.

For more information about the museum see below.  Their hours are Thursday through Saturday 10-5PM, Thursday 10-9PM and Sunday 12-5PM.  The museum is closed on Mondays.  

Oklahoma Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
(405) 236-3100

If you're going to be in and around Oklahoma City the museum is a great place to spend the afternoon.  If you're interested in seeing some of their supporters, we've listed one or two below.

Another great spot in the state of Oklahoma for seeing artwork is the Fred Jones Jr Museum at the University of Oklahoma.  It's located in Norman, OK which is a short drive to the south from OKC.  It's well worth a visit as there are hundreds of displays.  

The best part is that it's ALWAYS free to get into the museum.  To find out more about it go to their website at http://www.ou.edu/fjjma.html

Currently they have an exhibit that features much of the pomp and flash of the speakeasy's of the bootlegging era.  Here's a bit more from their website.

Step into the sparkling, swinging world of a 1920s speakeasy, where flappers dance the night away while sipping scandalous cocktails smuggled in by rum runners and bootleggers!

Phillips & Associates