I am happy to serve as chairman of the Gilcrease National Advisory Board at an exciting moment in the museum’s history. We are fully engaged in planning the museum’s renovation and expansion that will launch in the coming year. The steps we take now are critically important to the future of the museum as well as to the residents of Tulsa, and I look forward to working with the National Advisory Board members, Gilcrease membership, staff and Gillies to ensure our success.
In the nearly 70-year history of Gilcrease Museum, Tulsans have taken great pride in being home to the largest and finest collection of American art, artifacts and historical documents amassed by a single individual. That continued public pride and enthusiasm for Gilcrease was manifest in the Vision vote, which led to an extraordinary opportunity to realize a $65 million redevelopment of Tulsa’s most valuable asset.
In an exciting step toward delivery of this project, the Gilcrease National Advisory Board supported the engagement of Gallagher and Associates, an international leader in museum and destination development. In collaboration with the Gilcrease staff, the Gallagher team is charged with synthesizing the many stories within the Gilcrease collection to create an interpretive plan and a dynamic visitor experience. No small task given the collection covers more than 12,000 years of history. However, with leadership experience in such projects as the National Archive, numerous presidential libraries and world-renowned art museums within its portfolio, we believe Gallagher and Associates is a great choice to re-interpret the Gilcrease art and history holdings. The importance of the plan cannot be overstated as it will inform the architect selection process and provide the road map for the design team once selected.
The Gilcrease Campaign will add private support to the monies approved by Tulsans with an additional goal of $50 million. We are nearing the half-point milestone of that important effort and are confident that, pending release of the Gallagher Plan and the architectural design concepts that will follow, the campaign’s momentum will continue to grow.
I’d like to thank my predecessor, Jon Stuart, for his leadership, and I look forward to building on the good work accomplished in his tenure. I can’t imagine a more strategic time to be part of Gilcrease Museum’s story and want to extend thanks to the many members whose support plays an important role in this next chapter.
Gilcrease Museum National Advisory Board Chair