Ten years ago, Kathy Taylor, then mayor of the City of Tulsa, Steadman Upham, former president of The University of Tulsa, and Dale McNamara, then-chair of the Gilcrease Board of Trustees, entered into a historic agreement making TU the managing partner of the Gilcrease Collection on behalf of the City of Tulsa. On July 1, 2018, we will commemorate this important public-private partnership that inspired private management of other city assets including the Tulsa Zoo.
In the initial agreement, the life of the TU-Gilcrease management was 10 years, ending June 30, 2018. In 2014, Mayor Dewey Bartlett along with President Upham opted to extend this agreement to 2028.
Later that same year, then-Councilor G.T. Bynum encouraged TU leadership and members of the Gilcrease National Advisory Board to make a proposal for the 2016 Vision vote that would include a “significant commitment” for Tulsa’s most valuable asset, Gilcrease Museum. As the city went through a lengthy public process to finalize its list of Vision projects, Councilor Bynum’s leadership along with fellow councilors was instrumental in the successful inclusion of Gilcrease Museum in the city-wide Vision package.
Today, with the support of TU President Gerard Clancy, Gilcrease is preparing for a re-imagined future that will ensure the partnership will continue to thrive. Through the help of Gallagher & Associates, an internationally recognized museum planning and design firm, we are beginning to write a much-needed interpretive plan for Gilcrease in order to lay a solid framework for the fulfillment of The Gilcrease Vision.
All thanks to past leaders whose vision created this partnership and to Mayor G.T. Bynum and President Clancy whose shared vision and leadership will support this extraordinary partnership in its second decade. In celebration of the anniversary, we are excited to offer free admission every Sunday in July.
Executive Director of Gilcrease Museum and
Helmerich Center for American Research
Vice President for Public Affairs,
The University of Tulsa