Exceptional Exhibitions

Get up close and personal with our world-class collection.

Exhibitions

Experience the breadth and depth of Gilcrease Museum’s permanent collection in a variety of inspiring exhibitions featuring the fine art, anthropology and archival items from our collection. The American West comes alive at Gilcrease through the eyes of Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell, Charles Schreyvogel and Frank Tenney Johnson. Here you’ll find the breathtaking landscape paintings of Thomas Moran and Albert Bierstadt, and noteworthy works by Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler and William Merritt Chase. Contrast those with works by Taos Society artists Ernest Blumenschein, Bert Phillips and Joseph Henry Sharp. Our anthropology collection features the spectacular Beaver Effigy Pipe (Hopewell Platform Pipe), ca. 200 CE from Pike County, Illinois which has been called one of the greatest artworks to emerge from the great Hopewell cultural complex of the Americas. In addition, the only known surviving handwritten copies of the Declaration of Independence and Articles of Confederation are part of our archival collection. It is clear why Gilcrease Museum’s collection is world-renowned. A robust temporary exhibition schedule is yet another reason to visit us!

Gilcrease Museum’s 2018 exhibition season is sponsored by an anonymous donor in fond memory of Sam Miller.

Generous support is also provided by the Maurice DeVinna Charitable Trust, Robin F. Ballenger, C.W. Titus Foundation, Merkel Family Foundation and The Gilcrease Council.

On View

Albert Bierstadt: Witness to a Changing West

Albert Bierstadt: Witness to a Changing West

November 3, 2018 - February 10, 2019
Gilcrease Museum and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, have partnered to present the groundbreaking exhibition Albert Bierstadt: Witness to a Changing West. Albert Bierstadt (1830–1902) is best known as one of America’s premier western landscape artists. But he was also a renowned history painter, a rarely discussed element of his…
Americans All!

Americans All!

Ongoing
Americans All!, Gilcrease Museum’s latest exhibition drawn from the permanent collection, showcases the many positive contributions immigrants have made, and continue to make, to American life and culture. Regardless of origin, once in the United States, these newest Americans have consistently contributed indispensable ingredients to the ongoing evolution of America’s cultural identity. Please support Gilcrease…
Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo

Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo

June 22, 2018 - November 25, 2018
Experience the grit, determination and community of the national gay rodeo circuit in classic black-and-white photographs in Gilcrease Museum’s new exhibition, Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo, on view June 22 – November 25, 2018. Since its founding in 1949, Gilcrease has led the way for artwork showcasing the American West, including depictions of…
Hidden in Plain Sight II

Hidden in Plain Sight II: Unexpected Views of Gilcrease Museum

May 1, 2018 - December 31, 2018
During the first weekend of November, 2017, twelve Tulsa-area photographers participated in a masterclass with David Halpern. The ultimate objective of the class was to help these already skilled photographers reduce the distractions and chaos that 21st century digital technology often presents, and to focus on making stronger, more compelling images. This exhibition, Hidden in…
Exploring The Big Trail

Exploring The Big Trail

April 22, 2018 - December 31, 2018
What to do with a recent donation of one-of-a-kind photographs? How about turning them into an exhibition? That’s exactly what guests will see in Exploring The Big Trail. The exhibition showcases stereoscopic photographs taken during the filming of the 1930 motion picture The Big Trail, starring John Wayne. Many, if not all, of these photographs…
To Endure in Bronze

To Endure in Bronze

December 1, 2017 - December 31, 2018
The permanence of bronze, from antiquity to the present, has long promised artistic immortality. As Frederic Remington declared in 1895, “My oils will all get old and watery – that is they will look like stale molasses in time – my watercolors will fade – but I am to endure in bronze ... I am…

Masterworks from the Gilcrease Collection

Ongoing
Beauty, fame, craftsmanship, historic significance—there are many qualities to consider when defining a masterwork in a museum collection. The works on display in this exhibition include objects from ancient cultures of the Americas, documents from our nation’s founding, and more than 200 years of American painting and sculpture. While these objects represent disparate time periods,…

Upcoming Exhibitions

The Chisholm Kid

The Chisholm Kid: Lone Fighter for Justice for All

December 14, 2018 - March 17, 2019
The Chisholm Kid, Lone Fighter for Justice for All pays homage to the many black cowboys who drove longhorns up the Chisholm Trail out of Texas and across Indian Territory to the railroad trailheads in Kansas during the years following the Civil War. Once freedom arrived, many freedmen found work as cowboys and applied their…

Past Exhibitions

T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America

T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America

July 12, 2018 - October 7, 2018
Gilcrease Museum presents an exhibition celebrating one of the most influential and inventive Native American artists of the 20th-century, T.C. Cannon (1946-1978, Caddo/Kiowa). T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America is the first major traveling exhibition of Cannon's work since 1990 and explores the dynamic creative range and legacy of an artist whose life was…

Seasons of the Desert: Landscapes of the American Southwest

March 16, 2018 - June 10, 2018
In popular imagination, desert climates are often stark — dusty, barren wastelands of lifeless, parched earth. Over the years, writers, artists and filmmakers have portrayed the desert as a metaphor for emptiness and death. All too often, deserts are defined only by what they lack. But there is another side to the story. For millennia,…

Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera

February 17, 2018 - June 10, 2018
This landmark exhibition sheds new light on Norman Rockwell’s art and artistry. Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera is the first exhibition to explore in depth Rockwell’s richly detailed study photographs, created by the artist as references for his iconic paintings. Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera is organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum and author and…
Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist

Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist

October 6, 2017 - January 7, 2018
Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist surveys the career of one of today’s most accomplished Native American artists and a leading practitioner of contemporary landscape painting. Over the course of four decades, WalkingStick has tirelessly explored her own complex cultural identity, engaging Native history along with feminism, Minimalism and other key art historical movements. She is…
Hidden in Plain Sight

Hidden in Plain Sight: Unexpected Views of Gilcrease Museum

August 28, 2017 - April 22, 2018
Over the first weekend of June, 2017, 14 Tulsa-area photographers participated in a masterclass with David Halpern, whose own work is presented in the current Gilcrease exhibition The Essence of Place: Celebrating the Photography of David Halpern. The ultimate objective of the class was to help these already skilled photographers reduce the distractions and chaos…
After Removal: Rebuilding the Cherokee Nation

After Removal: Rebuilding the Cherokee Nation

August 25, 2017 - January 21, 2018
The exhibition, After Removal: Rebuilding the Cherokee Nation, tells the story of the Cherokee Nation in the 19th century through the stark contrasts of the human experience — discord and harmony, war and peace, success and failure — and in the end, the creation of a solid foundation for the future of the Cherokee people.…
Black Bodies in Propaganda: The Art of the War Poster

Black Bodies in Propaganda: The Art of the War Poster

April 7, 2017 - July 16, 2017
Why would African Americans fight for the freedom of others when they themselves were treated as second-class citizens? Why would Africans fight for democracy in Europe, when as the colonial subjects of European powers, they were denied full participation in European and African societies alike? These thought-provoking questions are explored in the exhibition Black Bodies…
The Power of Posters: Mobilizing the Home Front to Win The Great War

The Power of Posters: Mobilizing the Home Front to Win The Great War

April 7, 2017 - July 16, 2017
In conjunction with Black Bodies in Propaganda: The Art of the War Poster, Gilcrease Museum will draw on the extensive collection of World War I material in McFarlin Library’s Special Collections at The University of Tulsa, to present The Power of Posters: Mobilizing the Home Front to Win The Great War. This exhibition will commemorate…
Textured Portraits: The Ken Blackbird Collection

Textured Portraits: The Ken Blackbird Collection

February 26, 2017 - August 27, 2017
Textured Portraits: The Ken Blackbird Collection; Photography from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, is a traveling exhibition of the work of Ken Blackbird, a photojournalist with 30 years of experience photographing Native life on reservations in Montana and Wyoming. The 30 photographs selected for Textured Portraits reflect Mr. Blackbird’s exceptional visual artistry. His…

Plains Indian Art: Created in Community

February 26, 2017 - August 27, 2017
The exhibition, Plains Indian Art: Created in Community, will explore the unparalleled talent of certain individuals and the special role of Plains artists in their communities. This exhibition will highlight Plains art as an expression of cultural tradition and community vibrancy, focusing specifically on generational change in style and function and the innovative techniques used…
Looking West: The Rumley Family Collection

Looking West: The Rumley Family Collection

December 10, 2016 - March 19, 2017
How do artists shape our sense of place? For generations, communities of artists in the American West have merged the past with the present, blending new techniques with long-standing traditions. In the late 19th century, new trading posts in the West helped generate new audiences for artworks created by Native American communities, from San Ildefonso…

The Essence of Place: Celebrating the Photography of David Halpern

November 22, 2016 - April 8, 2018
David Halpern (1936 - ) has been making photographs for more than 65 years. For most of that time, Halpern’s work has been inspired by his love of nature and the American landscape. His favorite subjects are found in nature — landforms, water, rocks, trees, clouds — and the variables that alter our reactions to…
Creating the Modern Southwest

Creating the Modern Southwest

October 16, 2016 - February 25, 2018
By any historic measure, the American Southwest is an ancient place. A crossroads of cultures and languages for centuries, the region stretching from western Texas to southern California contains the oldest continually inhabited communities in the United States. In rounded adobe architecture and weathered Spanish churches, layers of stone and earth plaster mark the deep…
Chocolate: The Exhibition

Chocolate: The Exhibition

October 9, 2016 - January 8, 2017
A unique tree in a lush tropical environment. A seed so precious it was used as money. A spicy drink and a sweet snack. A heavenly craving and a sublime pleasure.  Chocolate is all this ... and much more. Explore the relationship between human culture and this rainforest treasure in Chocolate: The Exhibition, Oct. 9,…
Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray

Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray

July 10, 2016 - September 11, 2016
Gilcrease Museum presents Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray, an exhibition of photographs of Frida Kahlo, on display beginning July 10 and running through September 11, 2016. This exhibition provides an intimate look at Frida Kahlo, Mexico’s most prolific and well-known female artist, through the photographic lens of her long-time friend and lover,…

West Mexico: Ritual and Identity

June 26, 2016 - November 6, 2016
West Mexico: Ritual and Identity, organized by Gilcrease Museum, will feature a spectacular selection of ceramic figures and vessels from the Gilcrease collection, augmented by items from public and private collections. Better known today as a sunny vacation destination and the home of tequila, West Mexico's past is a fascinating story that dates back more…
William R. Leigh Sketches

Showing the Hand of the Artist: The Sketches of William R. Leigh

March 6, 2016 - June 26, 2016
William R. Leigh was born in Berkeley County, West Virginia in 1866. Deciding upon a career in art quite early, Leigh enrolled in classes at the Maryland Institute, Baltimore, in 1880, spending three years there before moving to Munich shortly before his 17th birthday. He studied at the Royal Academy for more than a decade,…
Following the Grain: A Centennial Celebration of Willard Stone

Following the Grain: A Centennial Celebration of Willard Stone

February 20, 2016 - January 3, 2017
One hundred years ago, Oklahoma sculptor Willard Stone was born February 29, 1916 — a Leap Day birthday. To mark the occasion, Gilcrease Museum presents Following the Grain: A Centennial Celebration of Willard Stone.  Opening February 20, this exhibition highlights Stone's unique artwork and the legacy of his collaborations with the museum. In 1945, recognizing…
Rick Bartow: Things You Know But Cannot Explain

Rick Bartow: Things You Know But Cannot Explain

January 23, 2016 - April 24, 2016
Rick Bartow is one of Oregon's best-known artists. For more than 40 years, he has created a powerful body of work, influenced by his Native American heritage, life experiences, physical environment, international travels and fine art training. In 2012, two of his monumental sculptures were permanently installed on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., outside…
Birds in Art

Birds in Art

November 22, 2015 - February 7, 2016
Birds in Art, an exhibition that features innovative perspectives throughout diverse artwork by some of the world's most talented artists, will land in Tulsa in late November 2015 for a showing at Gilcrease Museum. Birds inspire artists worldwide as these avian marvels signal seasonal and environmental change, mesmerize with their flight, dazzle with their colors…
Native American Bolo Ties: Vintage and Contemporary Artistry

Native American Bolo Ties: Vintage and Contemporary Artistry

October 18, 2015 - January 3, 2016
Explore the world of bolo ties, the uniquely Western sartorial adornment's history and revival, in a fun new exhibition traveling to Gilcrease Museum this fall. Native American Bolo Ties: Vintage and Contemporary Artistry opens October 18, 2015 and runs through January 3, 2016. The distinctive tie, named Arizona's official state neckwear in 1971, originated in…
Painted Journeys: The Art of John Mix Stanley

Painted Journeys: The Art of John Mix Stanley

October 4, 2015 - January 3, 2016
More than 150 years after his Smithsonian gallery burned to the ground, John Mix Stanley is receiving a long overdue retrospective exhibition. Considered the premier painter of the American West and a prolific artist, Stanley traveled thousands of miles crisscrossing the western territories and the kingdom of Hawaii in the mid-19th century, painting portraits of…
On 52nd Street: The Jazz Photography of William P. Gottlieb

On 52nd Street: The Jazz Photography of William P. Gottlieb

July 25, 2015 - October 11, 2015
Tulsa and Oklahoma have a rich history and tradition of jazz music, so it's only fitting that Gilcrease should celebrate this uniquely American form of music with a special exhibition that opens summer of 2015. On 52nd Street: The Jazz Photography of William P. Gottlieb opens July 25 and runs through October 11, 2015. In…
California Impressionism: Selections from The Irvine Museum

California Impressionism: Selections from The Irvine Museum

May 3, 2015 - September 6, 2015
In the early years of the 20th century, California produced a unique artistic style which combined several distinctive aspects of American and European art.  This style, which is often called California Impressionism or California Plein Air painting, concerned itself with light and color. As a variant of the American Impressionist style, it focused directly on…
Private Collections to Public Treasures: New Acquisitions at Gilcrease Museum

Private Collections to Public Treasures: New Acquisitions at Gilcrease Museum

November 20, 2014 - March 29, 2015
Museums never stop collecting. A dynamic museum like Gilcrease continually strives to build on its strengths and to fill gaps in its collection. Strong collections provide more depth to exhibitions and more opportunities for research. Since 2008, more than 13,500 items have been added to Gilcrease Museum. Thanks to generous donors and judicious purchases, the Gilcrease…

Focus on Favorites

March 16, 2014 - August 21, 2016
Gilcrease Museum presents a treasure of art, artifacts and historical documents that reveal the American experience. Thomas Gilcrease amassed an extraordinary collection that was recognized for excellence during his lifetime and has become known as one of America's finest museums. Focus on Favorites brings together many of the most admired and finest examples from the…
On Common Ground

On Common Ground

December 22, 2013 - August 7, 2016
Often discussions about America focus on the differences of the peoples who came to inhabit this continent in a series of migrations over time. However, basic common needs bind us together as human beings, giving common ground to diversity. This common ground is as physical as the need for food and safety - physical as…