The Philbrook Museum of Art truly a national gem. Located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Philbrook is nationally recognized as one of the top 50 museums in the United States. The Philbrook is also regarded as one of the only five museums in the country that has a combination of art collections, gardens, and a historical home.
There are three histories related to the Philbrook: the home, art museum, and gardens. Beginning with the home, Villa Philbrook was created by Waite and Genevieve Phillips. The Phillips hired Edward Buehler Delk, a prominent architect based in Kansas City, to design a mansion with the inspiration of an Italian Renaissance home. Villa Philbrook was completed in 1927 and was a mansion with three stories, a steel construction, and concrete framework. After residing in the home for approximately eleven years, the Phillips family donated their Villa Philbrook and surrounding property to the city of Tulsa. The main purpose for their donation, was so Villa Philbrook could become the art and cultural hotspot of Tulsa. It’s important to note that almost the entire home, except for the main rooms in the first floor, has been renovated and remodeled so it could adequately serve as a public facility.
The Philbrook Art Museum was made possible by the teamwork from the first director, Eugene Kingman, the Tulsa Art Association, and the original art collection that was housed in Villa Philbrook. In fall 1939, the Philbrook Art Museum officially opened to the public. One year after the Museum opened, official educational classes and workshops were added to the Museum’s services. This ultimately sparked and contributed to the created of the Children’s Museum, which opened in 1949. Since the Philbrook Art Museum opened, the Museum has undergone various renovations that have expanded and adjusted the overall facility. Thus, ensuring visitors will have an extremely unique and significant experience.
Since Villa Philbrook sits on approximately 23 acres of land, the surrounding areas of the home were turned into magnificent gardens. These elaborate gardens were influenced by one of Giacomo Barozzi de Vignola’s most magnificent estates, Villa Lante. Most of the gardens of the current day Philbrook have been maintained in a way that preserved the original construction. In 2004 an extension of the gardens was created. This extended the gardens to the summerhouse.
The Philbrook is home to a variety of permanent attractions spread across their 23 acres of land. Throughout the original Villa Philbrook, guests can explore areas of the original Villa Philbrook construction, as well as the following permanent art attractions:
• African Art
• American Art
• Asian Art
• Decorative Arts
• European Art
• Modern and Contemporary Art
• Native American Art
• Works on Paper
In addition to the Philbrook’s permanent art collection, the Philbrook is home to an extensive display of gardens. In order to explore the gardens, visitors have to participate in a guided walking tour. Some of the highlights of the Philbrook gardens include:
• Sensory gardens
• Meditative niches
• Intricate arch designs
• Italian inspired architectural structures
• A sculpture walk
• A refurbished creek
• A combination of native Oklahoma plants and exotic plants
Aside from their extensive permanent collection, the Philbrook regularly hosts special attractions throughout the year. For more information about special attractions at the Philbrook, check out the museum’s website.
A Bestiary is a combination of lithographs from renowned artists Elisabeth Frink and Rudy Pozzatti. This exhibition is on display until February 19, 2017.
Mike Glier is an original exhibit by Mike Glier, a contemporary artist. This exhibit showcases the hopes and fears parents have for their children. This exhibit will be featured until April 2, 2017.
Text without Message explores the interaction and relationship between text, abstraction, and art through the eyes of renowned artist Christopher Wool. Text without Message will be displayed until April 30, 2017.
The value and importance the Philbrook holds in regards to education is shown within the extensive educational opportunities the museum offers. The educational programs at the Philbrook range from typical specialized tours for groups and schools to a variety of classes for people of all ages, interests, and skill level.
Every class offered at the Philbrook focuses directly on making art, regardless of the art form and genre. A few of the art classes available provide participants with extensive information about a concentration within the Philbrook’s permanent collection. Then, participants utilize their new found information to create art inspired by the Philbrook’s permanent collection.
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2727 S Rockford Rd, Tulsa, OK 74114, Phone: 800-324-7941