Director’s Report

Susan Neal HeadshotWe continue to be amazed at all of the wonderful things happening in Tulsa’s arts scene and take pride in becoming more integrally woven into our city’s cultural fabric. This is due largely to presenting exhibitions and programming that resonate with both the city and national conversations, and striking a balance between relevance and fun.

In May, the museum teamed up with the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation for Gilcrease After Hours to present an evening dedicated to civic unity, celebrating the resilience of Greenwood and remembrance. Participants enjoyed music, listened to poetry readings and contributed to a community art project (photos featured above). Visitors also had the opportunity to learn about the history of Greenwood as well as the 1921 Race Massacre through a pop-up exhibition from the Tulsa Historical Society and Museum.

We are lucky enough to offer some once-in-a-lifetime exhibitions at the museum this summer. The incredibly moving Pulitzer Prize Photographs will be here through July 14. This exhibit captures the American experience at its finest and worst hours while demonstrating the extraordinary role art can play in bringing about social change. The new Bob Dylan: Face Value and Beyond is attracting visitors from across the country and around the world. These rare glimpses into newsworthy events and popular culture are in addition to several ongoing exhibitions and a new offering from the Tulsa Artist Fellows, Recall/Respond, which opens June 21.

If you are hosting visitors in Tulsa this summer, you’ll want to make Gilcrease a destination. There’s nothing more gratifying than hearing comments from out-of-town guests as they make their way through the galleries. Their surprise to find Bierstadt, Moran and Audubon in our collection is as evident as their wonderment that this collection is in Tulsa.

While we are pleased that so many of our guests come from all over the world, we are equally committed to making sure that Gilcrease is as well-known and valued by our city and region. This begins with offering entertaining activities for families with small children such as Learn and Play, enriching programs for creative spirits including compelling lectures, and relaxing happy hour events such as Gilcrease After Hours.

There truly is something for everyone. With so much to take in at Gilcrease, I hope you’ll make Gilcrease a part of your stay-cation this summer. And when you are looking to show your summer guests the best Tulsa has to offer, make sure Gilcrease is on your list.

Susan Neal
Executive Director of Gilcrease Museum and
Helmerich Center for American Research
Vice President for Public Affairs, The University of Tulsa