Guide to Current Museum Exhibits
Oklahoma City is home to many world-class museums and historical venues. Throughout the year, you can learn about a wide variety of topics through special exhibitions and displays.
This guide will help you find all the exhibits currently on display is museums across the OKC metro. This list is updated frequently, so check back often for new exhibits and other learning opportunities! You can also check out our guide to FREE museums in the metro.
(1218 N Penn Ave, Oklahoma City) 673-1218
Factory Obscura presents SHIFT
Nov. 9 - Feb. 25
SHIFT is a fully-immersive, experiential art installation that challenges the participant to physically explore the full-sensory environment. Factory Obscura, a collective of artists and community builders, formed to produce large scale installations that require new forms of audience engagement. This is the first such installation. The exhibition is free & open to the public, Thursday - Sunday from noon - 6 p.m.
(27 E Edwards St, Edmond) 340-4481
Feb. 1 - 28
Brad is a 1987 Edmond Memorial graduate and lifelong Edmond residence. His love of art and painting has always been part of his all his life but just recently he rediscovered his creative spirit. His abstract paintings have been met with great success and popularity in the community.
(431 S Boulevard, Edmond) 340-0078
Once Upon a Playground
Jan. 30 - March 16, 2018
The classic metal and wood structures that have populated playgrounds for most of the twentieth century—towering metal slides, giant jungle gyms, whirling merry-go-rounds, bouncing seesaws—have become beloved artifacts of childhood. Once Upon a Playground offers a visual tribute to these vanishing playgrounds of our past, celebrating their place in American culture and the collective memories of generations.
(555 Elm, Norman) 325-4938
Generations of Modern Pueblo Painting: The Art of Tonita Pena and Joe Herrera
Jan. 26 - April 8
This exhibition is a large-scale, high-quality, scholarly exhibition of three generations of modern Pueblo painting, spanning 1915 to the late 1980s. Other artists featured include Julian Martinez and his grandson Tony Da (San Ildefonso); Pablita Velarde and her daughter Helen Hardin (Santa Clara).
Jan. 26 - June
For this installation, slivers modeled from 86-foot diameter satellite dishes of the Very Large Array in New Mexico intersect the gallery space, forming pattern-infused canopies. Derived from the famous cosmic microwave background image, shadows of the pattern broadcast throughout the space, alluding to the dish as an agent of travel through time and space. This installation evokes the use of satellite dishes as a burial object for a space-faring culture.
Fine Print! Posters from the Permanent Collection
Jan. 26 - May 27
Fine Print! Posters from the Permanent Collection explores just how posters worked to sell audiences on products, people, and ideas. It offers visitors an opportunity to see rarely exhibited European and American posters in the museum’s permanent collection that were produced between the fin-de-siècle French poster movement of the 1890s and the 1972 Olympics.
(1400 Classen Dr.) 235-4458
Lucas Simmons: American Fire
Feb. 8 - May 19
American Fire explores man’s relationship with fire and technology; how it shaped our biology and how we use it to shape the world around us. Like many contemporary figurative artists, Lucas Simmons is interested in narratives that explore the relationships between man, nature and technology. Simmons work explores themes relating to local industry, ecology, religion, and mythology.
(190 W MacArthur, Shawnee) 878-5300
Feb 10 - April 1
This exhibit explores the fantastical creatures that the Kuna illustrate in their molas and the Cocle painted on their pottery centuries before. Both Panamanian cultures created creatures based on their surroundings and modified by their imaginations.
301 W Reno Ave, Oklahoma City) 445-7080
Jardim do Amor/Garden of Love: Works by Skip Hill
Feb. 1 - March 23
Skip Hill creates color rich and lyrical art exuding moods of epicurean delights in a mélange of sensual and sensory experience. Some of the most captivating parts of his mixed-media drawings are in their peripheral details – Tattoo expressive patterning, looping graphic lines, kinetic scribbling, Kanji calligraphy and African motifs. Like a shaman, Hill communicates freely between two worlds, between dream and reality, and manages to artfully coordinate his fantasy with his hand. This exhibit is free and open to the public during bridge hours.
The "Poetree" Show
Feb. 16 - March 24
Plants have long served as an inspiration for poetry. For the 2018 orchid show, poetry will be the inspiration for our annual floral displays. Curated and arranged by Nate Tschaenn, director of horticulture and resident orchid expert, the Crystal Bridge will be filled with hundreds of spectacular orchids and tropical flowers featured in exhibits inspired by some of our favorite poems. Admission is required to see this exhibit.
(1700 NE 63rd) 478-2250
Cartoons & Comics: The Early Art of Tom Ryan
July 21, 2017 - April 1, 2018
Dating from 1936 to 1945, the small drawings provide a snapshot of Ryan’s high school and Coast Guard years. Original characters Dan the Cop and Joe Campion Jr. spring from his teenage imagination.
Life and Legacy: The Art of Jerome Tiger
Aug. 25, 2017 - May 13, 2018
August 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the passing of one of Oklahoma’s most celebrated artists—Jerome Tiger. Having only painted for 5 years, Jerome Tiger produced hundreds of works of art and won numerous awards throughout the country. Today, his work is shown in museums across the nation and he is recognized as one of the greatest Native American artists.
Unlocking the Vault: Mysteries and Marvels of the Museum
Feb. 9 – May 13, 2018
Unlocking the Vault: Mysteries and Marvels of the Museum exposes rarely seen artifacts from the Museum’s vault. From John Wayne’s personal Buddha sculptures to a sketch of a dinosaur on CM Russell letterhead, this exhibition gives visitors a unique look at what, why, and how museums collect
Do You See What I See? Painted Conversations by Theodore Waddell
Feb. 9 – May 13, 2018
Do You See What I See? Painted Conversations by Theodore Waddell explores Waddell’s abstract expressionism like never before. This exhibition redirects the visitor’s attention to the importance of what they do not see rather than what they do see on the canvas, and the opportunity to perceive something different in the same painting each time it is viewed.
In the Principles Office: Tom Ryan the Art Student
April 7 – November 11, 2018
In the Principles Office: Tom Ryan the Art Student takes visitors into the classroom with Ryan as he takes “general illustration” with famed teacher Frank Reilly. Learn the principles of art as he did; the meaning of snow on the shoulders; the difference between hues and values; the importance of anatomy; and the draftsmanship precision of perspective.
(415 Couch Dr) 236-3100
The Art of Oklahoma
Nov. 16, 2017 - Sept. 2, 2018
The installation features a selection of paintings, prints and photographs spanning 100 years and ranging in style from Impressionism and documentary photography to geometric abstraction and hyperrealism. Curated from the Museum's permanent collection, the exhibition includes 23 works by 19 artists including Oscar Brousse Jacobson, Nellie Shepherd, David Fitzgerald and Woody Big Bow, among others.
The Complete WPA Collection: 75th Anniversary
Dec. 16, 2017 - Oct. 22, 2018
In 1935, in an effort to curb the mass unemployment of the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Works Progress Administration (WPA), one of a number of domestic programs known collectively as the New Deal. The Federal Art Project (FAP) was also responsible for establishing more than 100 art centers around the United States. Included among these was the WPA Experimental Gallery in Oklahoma City. The Museum’s WPA collection features a large proportion of rural American landscapes and depictions of labor, infrastructure, and industrial development.
The New Art: A Controversial Collection Fifty Years Later
Feb. 17 - May 13, 2018
The New Art: A Controversial Collection Fifty Years Later honors this extraordinary collection on this milestone anniversary, presenting longstanding Museum highlights by Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Diebenkorn, Grace Hartigan, Sam Gilliam and Robert Indiana, among many others. Also included are more rarely shown examples from Morris Louis, Juan Gris, David Smith and Kenzo Okada. In this collection of 20th-century masterpieces, museum-goers will discover the history of one of the nation's most important modern art institutions and will be reintroduced to the "new art" that has lost none of its power to challenge, enlighten and confound 50 years later.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul: The Serenity of Madness
March 31 - June 10, 2018
This new solo exhibition uniquely presents a selected survey of rarely seen experimental short films and video installations by Weerasethakul, alongside his photography, sketches and archival materials that explore threads of sociopolitical commentary. Curated by Gridthiya Gaweewong, a longtime collaborator of the filmmaker's, this exhibition will be accompanied by a retrospective of the director's theatrical releases in the Samuel Roberts Noble Theater.
Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper
June 16 - Sept. 9, 2018
Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave (born 1946). Following a visit to the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum in 1994, de Borchgrave began working in the new medium, creating trompe l’œil paper works in what eventually would become four major paper fashion collections. A series of kaftans highlighting Silk Road textiles will be included, as well as a newly commissioned costume inspired by a painting by Peter Paul Rubens, Portrait of Charlotte-Marguerite de Montmorency, Princess of Condé, c. 1610.
Illuminations: Rediscovering the Art of Dale Chihuly
This museum houses one of the most comprehensive collections of Chihuly glass in the country. See these delicate pieces of glass art alongside drawings and other works by Dale Chihuly.
(3000 General Pershing) 951-0000
Showroom campus (11th & Broadway)
Grace Grothaus and Rena Detrixhe: Wake
Jan. 12 - March 31, 2018
Grace Grothaus and Rena Detrixhe have collaborated on Wake, a multi-sensory installation. A shallow body of water encompasses the Showroom’s second-floor shipping container gallery. As viewers enter the space, the surface of the water comes alive. The water is animated by wave disturbances created by a recorded audio played through submerged speakers. The water’s movement is reflected onto the interior walls, rendering the soundscape in shadow and light.
(800 Nazih Zuhdi) 522-0765
Smoke Over Oklahoma: The Railroad Photographs of Preston George
This exhibit includes twenty-five images of different railroad lines that passed through Oklahoma, such as the Katy and the Frisco, and the heavier duty locomotives of the Kansas City Southern and the Santa Fe lines. The exhibit also features images of various metro lines and trolleys.
The Art of War: WWI Posters from the Oscar Jacobson Collection
This exhibit commemorates the 100th anniversary of the United States' entry into World War I on April 6, 1917. On display are twenty-two posters from the Oscar Jacobson Collection. Countries on both sides of the conflict distributed posters widely to garner support, urge action, and boost morale. During World War I, the impact of the poster as a means of communication was greater than at any other time during history. As a valuable historical research resource, the posters provide multiple points of view for understanding this global conflict. As artistic works, the posters range in style from graphically vibrant works by well-known designers to anonymous broadsides.
This newly-expanded exhibit offers a glimpse of one of the earliest examples of western steamboats ever discovered. On May 6, 1838, Heroine was navigating the Red River on its way to Fort Towson to deliver much-needed supplies to the soldiers stationed there. Just twenty minutes from its destination, Heroine hit a snag and quickly sank. Although the majority of the superstructure of the Heroine had long since disintegrated, the surviving components were used to create an representation of the original vessel, as well as a look into the lives of the people of that era. Among the artifacts found in the wreckage were a number of personal items belonging to the crew and passengers.
On Behalf of the Pioneers: The Oklahoma Century Chest 1913-2013
The Century Chest time capsule was buried on April 22, 1913, in the basement of the First Lutheran Church of Oklahoma City. One hundred years later, on April 22, 2013, the church opened the chest and revealed the perfectly preserved contents deposited by the pioneers of Oklahoma. The exhibit opening marks the 125th anniversary of the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889. Visitors can view never-before-seen photographs, documents and American Indian artifacts and hear Oklahoma pioneer Angelo C. Scott's speech delivered at the burial of the chest in 1913.
Crossroads of Commerce: A History of Free Enterprise in Oklahoma
This exhibit tells the story of economic development in Oklahoma through five time periods from 1716 to the present day, connecting the dots between history and economic development in a way that celebrates creativity and hard work and inspires young people to take a chance. The exhibit features a number of structural reproductions and interactive opportunities. Visitors will see an actual truss from the Wiley Post Hangar and enter the simulated cockpit of a Lockheed Vega airplane. Other features include scenes of a newspaper printing operation, grist mill, cotton gin, grain elevator, Cain's Ballroom, a TG&Y store in the 1950s, the studios of WKY-Radio and WKY-TV, the Shelter Church Studio and the Thunder scoreboard from Chesapeake Energy Arena.
(2401 Chautauqua, Norman) 325-4712.
Fluent Generations: The Art of Anita, Tom & Yatika Fields
Jan. 20 - May 6, 2018
A family of accomplished Native artists showcases their works of photography, ceramics and paintings that celebrate the vitality of Indigenous cultures. Museum visitors will get the opportunity to not only develop a keen appreciation for the work of the Fields family, but a deeper appreciation for the impact of family — a building block of all cultures and communities around the world.
Celestial Siblings: Parallel Landscapes of Earth and Mars
Jan. 27 - April 29, 2018
Internationally known astronomer and fine art photographer Stephen Strom has combined his two talents to create “Celestial Siblings: Parallel Landscapes of Earth and Mars.” The images in this intriguing exhibition reveal hauntingly similar patterns on Earth and our planetary neighbor: at once simple and profoundly beautiful forms that result from the action of universal physical processes on vastly different spatial scales and terrestrial surfaces. The exhibition is arranged in four segments that reflect the roles of each of the Aristotelian elements in shaping the surfaces of Earth and Mars: air, earth, fire and water. Terrestrial images drawn from Strom’s landscape interpretations are paired with Martian photographs selected from long strip maps taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
(2020 Remington Pl) 602-6664.
Decomposition: Discovering the Beauty and Magnificence of Fungi
Through Sept. 2, 2018
“Decomposition: Discovering the Beauty and Magnificence of Fungi” showcases the amazing beauty, shapes, colors, and textures of fungi — the mysterious agents behind decay, rot, and mold. Journey into this fascinating realm and see how the world’s premier decomposition artists work to release life’s essential building blocks and create a host of unique chemicals, foods and medicines.
Into the Fold: The Art and Science of Origami
March 9, 2018 - Jan. 13, 2019
The exhibition features 29 origami artists from around the state, nation and world, exploring their diverse styles, backgrounds, techniques and their unique applications for the art form — from solving problems in the fields of robotics, medicine, and space exploration to fashion and architecture.