The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at The University of Oklahoma in Norman offers free admission for all visitors and showcases a growing collection of nearly 17,000 artifacts from the 16th century to present. Some of the most recognizable names in art are featured in this museum such as Edward Hopper, Vincent Van Goh, and Claude Monet.
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The University of Oklahoma Museum of Art was founded in 1936 when Lew Wentz and Gordon Matzene donated a collection of East Asian art with 750 objects to the college. Oscar Jacobson, who had already collected 2,500 works of art as the director of the School of Art since 1915, was named Director of the museum and the first galleries were installed in Jacobson Hall.
The permanent collection expanded in 1948 with the purchase of the State Department Collection which included 36 paintings from the Advancing American Art exhibition that featured American artists Georgia OKeefe, Stuart Davis, and Edward Hopper. The Museum did not gain its own facility until 1971 when the Jones family donated the fines arts building to the university in memorial of their late son. In 1992, the Museum was renamed, The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.
Many donors have contributed to the growth of the permanent collection of the museum which led to the addition of the Lester Wing in 2005 which added 34,000 square feet of exhibit space and an auditorium, classroom and orientation room, the museum store, and redesigned main entrance to the museum. The Stuart Wing opened in 2011 which expanded the space by an additional 18,000 square feet and renovated the original building.
The collection of nearly 17,000 objects has made the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art regarded as ones of the most impressive university art museums in the country. The permanent collection is displayed through rotating temporary exhibits that examine many different periods and cultures from the 16th century through modern day.
Asian Art- This collection was the basis upon which the museum was founded. The Wentz-Matzene collection features works from across Asia including sculpture, ceramics, textiles, Persian manuscripts and more. There are also other works in this collection that have been acquired since the original donation including Japanese and Russian art works.
European Art- 16th-20th century works from Europe are amassed in this collection that covers periods from Impressionism to Post-Impressionism and early Modernism. Visitors can see Vincent Van Goh, Claude Monet, Duncan Grant, Renoir, Henri Rousseau, and Edouard Vuillard among others featured in this collection.
Contemporary Art- This collection is not always on display and visitors should call ahead to see check the status of this exhibit before visiting. Some of the artist featured in this exhibit include Fernando Botero who has a large sculpture outdoors called Sphinx, John Buck, Alexander Calder, Leonora Carrington, Sandro Chia, Jean Dubuffet, and John Finher.
Art of the Americas- The artistic development of communities of people indigenous to North America and Central and South America through the 20th and 21st centuries is found in this gallery. Although the representation of art from Central and South America is limited, the range of medias is varied from textiles to paintings, ceramics, and other cultural arts. There is also Pre-Columbian works included in this collection which spans 4 galleries and many different donor contributions.
Photography- This collection began with just three photos in 1937 and has since grown to nearly 1300 prints. Some of the most well received photographs in the collection are by Berenice Abbott and W. Eugene Smith, among others.
Featured Collections- There are several collections of works at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum that are featured in the permanent collection thanks to the support of their benefactors. These featured collections can be viewed in the museum galleries and online through the museum website.
Exhibitions- The temporary exhibitions and gallery spaces rotate every semester at Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art offering the public a chance to view multiple collections from the permanent collection and works on loan from other institutions. Temporary Exhibitions are themed. Details are available on the museum website with dates of exhibit run times.
The museum store, Muse, is located just within the front entrance of the museum and offers many different gift and toy items that are unique and related to art and the permanent collection of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art. Muse is open during museum hours Tuesday through Sunday. An annual Holiday Sale is held during a weekend in December that includes a grab bag style sale.
555 Elm Avenue, Norman, Oklahoma, 73019, website, Phone: 405-325-3272
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