Gilcrease Museum

The Gilcrease Museum is recognized as one of the premier facilities that preserves, promotes, and researches American art and history. Located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Gilcrease Museum is the premier facility for the exploration of art and history in the Tulsa community. Gilcrease Museum


»History

History


Founded in 1949 by Thomas Gilcrease, a Tulsa oilman, the Gilcrease Museum has risen to being recognized as one of the most renowned facilities with a comprehensive collection of American art. Tom Gilcrease as born in Robiline, Louisiana, and was the first of fourteen children to be born. Soon after Tom was born, his family moved to the Creek Nation, which was located within the Oklahoma Territory.

Growing up, Tom helped his family run their fields and store. Although he received a minimal amount of education, Tom loved to read and explore the world around him. Since his name was plastered on the Creek tribal rolls, Tom was eligible to receive an area of land equal to 160 acres. The income from the 30 wells on his land helped Tom save enough funds to attend the Bacone College in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

After marrying Belle Harlow and having two children, Tom was infatuated with the idea of owning an oil patch. This led him to create an exploration company in 1922. Three years after he created his exploration company, Tom traveled to Europe. Although this trip gave Tom ideas of how to expand his business, this trip led to Tom pursuing a passion within collecting art. Although he loved European art, Tom decided to collect objects that were closer to his heritage. So, he sought out artifacts and art from Native American culture. Things to Do in Tulsa: Gilcrease Museum - Photo: Gilcrease Museum

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»More History

More History


In the late 1930s, Tom moved to San Antonio, Texas. Throughout his time in San Antonio, Tom’s personal art collection grew to be so extensive he formed the Thomas Gilcrease Foundation. This foundation served as a place to preserve and house his collection. It should be noted this display of art is often regarded as the first museum that as solely dedicated to preserving and showcasing Western American art.

Although Tom’s collection continued to expand, members of the San Antonio community never took a strong liking to his collection. So, Tom closed the small display in the late 1940s, and relocated his museum and business back to Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Thomas Gilcrease Museum was officially established in 1949. Things to Do in Tulsa: Gilcrease Museum - Photo: Gilcrease Museum

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»Permanent Attractions

Permanent Attractions


The Gilcrease Museum’s permanent collection is comprised of two sections: art and anthropology. The extensive art collection features a variety of sculptures, paintings, and other art forms. Art pieces in this collection date back to the first colonial portraits that were done in New England, and range to more modern 20th century pieces of art. The largest concentration within the permanent art collection is within art from Native American artists. There are approximately over 400 years of Native American art showcased within over 13,000 pieces of artwork.

The anthropology portion of the Gilcrease Museum’s permanent collection features a variety of artifacts that resemble over 250,000 specimens, historic events, and cultural significances. The anthropology collection focuses on historic aspects of North, Central, and South America. Artifacts date back to the original prehistoric groups and civilizations.

For more information about the permanent attractions at the Gilcrease Museum, check out the Museum’s online archives. Things to Do in Tulsa: Gilcrease Museum - Photo: Gilcrease Museum

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»Special Attractions

Special Attractions


The Gilcrease Museum hosts various special attractions throughout the year. In order to give you a glimpse into the typical special attractions at the Gilcrease Museum, here are some of the current special attractions on display.

Looking West: The Rumley Family Collection showcases how art techniques are passed down through generations. Blending past techniques with new innovations in art has been a long-time tradition within American West art. This exhibit will be on display until March 26, 2017.

Creating the Modern Southwest is an exhibit that relays the relationship between art and history. Through various artifacts, replicas, and pieces of art, visitors will be able to explore how the culture, social structure, and architectural landscape of the modern southwest was created. This exhibit is featured until May 14, 2017.

The Essence of Place: Celebrating the Photography of David Halpern displays some of the most renowned and inspiriting photographs from David Halpern. Halpern has photographed the American landscape for over 65 years. Visitors can view this exhibit until December 31, 2017. Things to Do in Tulsa: Gilcrease Museum - Photo: Gilcrease Museum

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»Educational Opportunities

Educational Opportunities


Like many other renowned museums, the Gilcrease Museum values education. Visitors have the option of participating in various educational opportunities at the Gilcrease Museum, such as specialized tours, classes, workshops, and lectures.

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1400 N Gilcrease Museum Rd, Tulsa, OK 74127, Phone: 918-596-2700 Things to Do in Tulsa: Gilcrease Museum - Photo: Gilcrease Museum

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Things to Do in Tulsa: Gilcrease Museum