Guide to Current Museum Exhibits
Photo Courtesy of the Sam Noble Museum.
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.
(9 E Sheridan Ave) 604-2793; Tuesday - Saturday, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Sunday, noon - 5 p.m.
Adults, $8; kids (5-17), $6; kids (under 5), free; families (2 adults, 2 kids), $15
Jim Henson - Life and Legacy
Sept. 2018 - Aug. 2019
The special exhibit remembers the optimistic visionary who created the Muppets and positively influenced generations. In addition to Kermit the Frog, original artwork, rare photographs, pop culture and more, Jim Henson – Life and Legacy will feature a very special banjo, the Muppets Banjo, originally owned and played by British musician Martin Kershaw.
Philadelphia's Mummers - Struttin' Their Stuff
Through April 30, 2019
The exhibit showcases the oldest annual folk celebration in the US. See costumes from parades past and learn about the history and traditions of the Mummers and the String Bands of Philadelphia.
(27 E Edwards St, Edmond) 340-4481; Monday - Thursday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Zonly Looman: Enter the Wild
Through March 31
Features the work of a different local artist each month. Looman, owner of Studio Z, is a primarily self-taught artist with a unique pop expressionist style. April's artist will be James Coplin.
(431 S Boulevard, Edmond) 340-0078; Tuesday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Saturdays, 1 - 4 p.m.
Admission is free.
Trees in Our Town
March 16 - April 27
The Edmond Urban Forestry Commission selects four drawings from each school for awards and displays them at the City-wide Arbor Day Art Show, held each year at the Edmond Historical Society and Museum. Visitors to the art show can view all the award winners’ artwork and enter a drawing to win a tree
(555 Elm, Norman) 325-4938; Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Thursday, until 9 p.m.; Sunday, 1 - 5 p.m.
Admission is free.
Distinguished Visiting Artist Chair: Mildred Howard
Jan. 25 - April 7
Over the course of her influential career, artist Mildred Howard (b. 1945) has used a variety of media to engage in pointed yet nuanced examinations of the history and politics of gender, race, and other issues central to contemporary society. Howard assembles a blend of American folk art, family photographs, and antique engravings, among other appropriated objects, to explore both cultural memory and the historical roots of topical issues, such as oppression, sexual harassment, and personal privacy.
Testimony: The Life and Work of David Friedman
Jan. 25 - May 7
Testimony surveys the career of artist David Friedman (1893-1980). The exhibition includes portraits and landscapes as well as his notable series Because They Were Jews!, a visual diary of his time in the Lodz Ghetto in Poland and his internment at the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Between the Isms: The Oklahoma Society of Impressionists and Selected Oklahoma Expressionists
June 7 - Sept. 8, 2019
In 1987, the Oklahoma Society of Impressionists originated in a workshop in Taos, New Mexico, when a group of like-minded artists with ties to Oklahoma decided to form an organization dedicated to the lasting influence of Impressionism. This exhibition features recent paintings from the group as well as a selection of paintings by Oklahoma artists working in expressionist styles.
(1900 W MacArthur, Shawnee); Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Adults, $5; kids (6-17), $3; Kids (5 & under), free.
Celebrating a Century: Treasures from the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art
Feb. 9 - March 24, 2019
Celebrating a Century features an eclectic mix of art and artifacts from thousands of years and from areas across the world. From three-inch Chinese Lotus shoes to an Amazonian headress to a Medieval Ivory crossbow to works of art by Oscar Jacobson, Esteban Murillo, Guidio Reni, and William Merrit Chase, there are pieces to delight and entrigue all visitors.
March 31 - April 13, 2019
The exhibit will feature art by more than 30 regional artists. A variety of art forms are included in this diverse show including paintings, prints, watercolors, sculpture, jewelery, and more.
(301 W Reno Ave) 445-7080; Monday - Saturday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Admission is free.
Against the Grain: Furniture Works of Art
March 14 - April 28, 2019
Zach True Hammack is an Oklahoma artist. Building on Hammack’s love for art and design, in addition to a passion for their family’s Native American heritage, he began Marking Tree Design. Salvaging and reclaiming wood to use in furniture not only adds aesthetic value to Marking Tree’s products but also lends tradition and backstory to every piece that is created.
Love of Color: Featuring Paintings by Nancy Junkin
March 14 - May 28, 2019
Nancy Junkin was born and raised in Ponca City, Oklahoma. As a child, she loved art instruction and would spend hours painting with oils and creating abstract designs. Today, Judkin works with oil and acrylic paints, occasionally incorporating mixed media.
(508 N Peters Ave, Norman) 321-0156; Tuesday - Saturday, 11 a.m. - noon & 1 - 4 p.m.
Admission is free.
William “Frank” Flood’s Tool Chest
Through April 27, 2019
The exhibit features the carpentry and construction tools of early Norman resident Frank Flood. Flood was a builder, carpenter, contractor, and university instructor who lived in Norman from 1892-1915. He was responsible for the construction of the first University of Oklahoma building and the first OU President’s home, the brick paving of Main Street and the installation of the first concrete sidewalks in Norman.
(1700 NE 63rd) 478-2250; Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m - 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon - 5 p.m.
Adults, $12.50; kids, (6-12), $5.57; kids (5 & under), free - Free admission for children & their caregivers during Saturdays for Kids (first Saturday of the month) & Wednesdays, August - November.
American Indian Artists: 20th Century Masters
Sept. 1, 2018 - May 12, 2019
This exhibition highlights this depth and the 20th century American masters who shaped it. Explore early artists such as the Kiowa Six, Tonita Peña, Harrison Begay and the institutions that influenced them — particularly the University of Oklahoma and the Santa Fe Indian School. In addition to the exhibition, the Museum has recently transformed a portion of its permanent galleries to showcase additional contemporary Western art.
Cowboys in Khaki: Westerners in the Great War
Nov. 10, 2018 - May, 12, 2019
Cowboys in Khaki: Westerners in the Great War draws on the National Cowboy Museum’s militaria, rodeo, and history collections, as well as loans from the 45th Infantry Division Museum in Oklahoma City and the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas. It tells how those from the Western United States made decisive contributions to the war effort, both on the home front and abroad. The exhibition also reveals the true diversity of those Westerners who fought for an Allied victory during World War I. For example, the story of the Navajo “code talkers” during World War II is well known; however, Choctaw “code talkers” (part of the 36th Division) during the Great War were vital to the Allied victory, earning recognition for their bravery. Hispanic soldiers, largely from New Mexico and Colorado, comprised a significant number of the AEF, while Asians from the Pacific Coast also served in Western divisions. African-American soldiers from the 92nd Division fought gallantly with the French, earning the Croix de Guerre, awarded for bravery during combat.
Nov. 17, 2018 - July 14, 2019
The new exhibition featuring Tom Lovell’s sketches and studies of this Western icon. The rarely seen prep work reveals how Lovell developed ideas and practiced movement, anatomy, proportion, and personality. Watch horses take shape across mediums and styles.
Ancient. Massive. Wild. – The Bison Exhibit
Feb. 9 - May 12, 2019
Ancient. Massive. Wild. – The Bison Exhibit celebrates the history and significance of the United States’ first national mammal and highlights the importance of its preservation and conservation. From its role as a primary provider for the Plains Indian people, to its years languishing on the brink of extinction — and its current comeback — the bison’s story is a unique and vibrant chapter in the American West’s history. The exhibit will focus on the iconic American bison through interactive experiences that combine history, artifacts and hands-on activities.
Spiro and the Native American Art of the Mississippian World
Feb. 12, 2021 - April 28, 2021
The Spiro people, and their Mississippian peers, are nearly forgotten in the pages of North American history, yet they created one of the most exceptional and highly developed societies in all of the Americas. This exhibition explores the archaeological and historical data connecting the Spiro site and its people to other communities throughout North and Central America.
(415 Couch Dr) 236-3100; Wednesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon - 5 p.m.; Third Thursdays, until 9 p.m.
Adults, $12; kids (6-18), $10; kids (5 & under), free - Complimentary admission offered twice a year during the Museum's SONIC Free Family Days.
Masterworks of British Painting
Aug. 3 - Feb. 24, 2019
During the Georgian era, accomplished portrait painter Joshua Reynolds founded the British Royal Academy of Art under the patronage of King George III. This institution provided artists with an influential and exclusive exhibition venue, the Royal Academy, which helped foster the emergence of a distinctively British art tradition.
Off the Wall: One Hundred Years of Sculpture
Dec. 22, 2018 - May 12, 2019
Off the Wall: One Hundred Years of Sculpture features more than thirty works of sculpture from the Museum’s permanent collection. The exhibition highlights the “unconventional” in twentieth- and twenty-first century sculpture—a period in European and American art in which traditional ideas about sculpture and painting were being challenged.
Ansel Adams and the Photographers of the West
Feb. 1 - May. 26, 2019
Features works by Adams and other photographers, such as Edward Weston, Brett Weston, Eliot Porter, Laura Gilpin, Philip Hyde, and William Garnett.
Van Gogh, Monet, Degas: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
June 22 - Sept. 22, 2019
Featuring more than 70 works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift of 19th and early 20th century French art to the VMFA. The exhibition will reproduce the invigorating experience of the Mellons’ collection, in which each work resonates with and gains greater strength from its lovingly created context. “Van Gogh, Monet, Degas” is presented in a series of sections including Cyphers of Modernity, Horses, Flowers, Views of Paris, People, Water, Interiors and Tables, The French Countryside, The Transformation of the Ordinary and VMFA: Toward Impressionism.
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; Monday - Saturday, 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Admission is free.
Tatyana Fazlalizadeh: Oklahoma is Black
Feb. 21 - May 19, 2019
This is the first major exhibition in the state for Oklahoma native and Brooklyn resident Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. Fazlalizadeh has achieved international recognition for her artwork of portraits and words that that give voices to people and communities that are often marginalized, including women, people of color and the LGBTQ community. Oklahoma is Black will be a depiction and celebration of Oklahoma City’s rich black history, highlighting the black lives that have made and continue to make this city. Oklahoma is Black will be the final exhibition at Oklahoma Contemporary’s fairgrounds location. The Learning Gallery will be open for the exhibition with hands-on activities for families Feb. 21 - May 19.
Erwin Redl: Whiteout
Oct 11, 2018 - March 31, 2019
Whiteout is comprised of hundreds of transparent white spheres, each embedded with a discrete, white LED light and suspended from a square grid of steel poles and cabling. The orbs are not fixed and can move with the wind currents from their positions of one foot above the ground plane. The white LEDs are animated, turning off and on according to a computer program, creating a series of moving patterns that work in tandem with the surrounding environment. The sequence of light is an incandescent treatment across the dark seasons of the late fall and winter.
(1400 Classen Dr.) 235-4458; Tuesday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Adults, $7; kids (6-17), $5; kids (5 & under), free - Complimentary admission offered on the second Saturday of each month and Thursdays between Memorial & Labor Day.
Feb. 21 - May 19, 2019
Michelle LaVasque and Espanta Steppe set out to find and connect with other Oklahoma artists, artisans, and craftsmen. In this exhibit, the artists are the central focus. They are chronicled at work in their studios through photographs and narratives in the book Artster Oklahoma.
Makerspace Mural by Kristopher Kanaly
New to the Museum
Kristopher Kanaly is known for his bold, abstract street murals throughout Oklahoma City’s Plaza District and its downtown. Much like his street art, Kanaly is an Oklahoma inspiration with a passion as rich as the state’s history. No matter the city or assignment, Kanaly’s work is distinguishable by the bright colors, abstract figures, and hidden elements.
(800 Nazih Zuhdi) 522-0765; Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Adults, $7; kids (6-17), $5; kids (5 & under), free; families (up to 6 people), $18 - Complimentary admission offered during the Museum's Septemberfest event.
Where They Went: A Photographic History of Oklahoma Animals
Through March 2019
The title is extracted from a Will Rogers quote: “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. The exhibit will be comprised of 26 black-and-white images taken by Oklahoma photographers.
Will Work For... A Mike Wimmer Project
Jan. 15 - June 2019
This exhibit is comprised of 17 portraits of models holding the iconic cardboard sign that completes the phrase “Will Work For …” His inspiration for this came to him when he noticed all of the people on street corners holding the signs that state that they “Will Work For Food.” He began to ask people of every social group what they would work for; what inspires them as individuals to sacrifice their lives, their labor and their love enough that they will work for it. Wimmer is an Oklahoma-born artist who began sketching and painting at age 6 and began selling his artwork at age 11.
Votes for Women
Nov. 5, 2018 - Sept. 30, 2019
The Oklahoma History Center will open a photographic exhibit celebrating the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in Oklahoma. Votes for Women will feature twenty-eight black-and-white photographs from the Oklahoma Historical Society’s photograph archives and the Library of Congress highlighting some of the key moments and events, and the people who fearlessly led the way.
Unsolved History: Forensic Science, Cold Cases, and Art Therapy
March 30 - Oct. 30, 2019
This exhibit is comprised of 11 artistic creations by Oklahoma-based artists and art therapists who work with the families of victims in cold case crimes. Led by Shannon Hazen, Tina Adams and Kris Newlin, and connected to the Oklahoma Homicide Survivors Support Group, artists were paired with families to participate in the project. Each piece reflects the collaboration between the artist and the family, which helped family members express their grief and frustration at their loss and the myriad of unanswered questions left in the wake of the crime.
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!: The Birth of Modern Musical Theatre and a New Image for the State
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! began a new era in American musical theatre. It also began the most successful songwriting partnership that Broadway has ever seen. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! counteracted the The Grapes of Wrath image with its lively musical comedy that, despite a few fight scenes that include an accidental death, portrayed romance, laughter and a spirit of joy in direct contrast to the shadow of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.
Welcome Home: Oklahomans and the War in Vietnam
Welcome Home: Oklahomans and the War in Vietnam exhibit looks at more than the historic events that occurred during the war. It explores the impact of the war on Oklahoma families, as told through the stories of the young men and women who served their country in the armed services and the immigrant families who fled Vietnam and came to Oklahoma seeking freedom and opportunity.
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.
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; Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 - 5 p.m.
Adults, $8; kids (4 - 17), $5; kids (3 & under) free - Free for children 17 and under on the first Monday of each month; complimentary admission offered at select events throughout the year.
Winged Tapestries: Moths At Large
Jan. 26 - May 12, 2019
Features the art of Jim Des Rivieres.
(2020 Remington Pl) 602-6664; Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. - Complimentary admission offered during the Museum's Tinkerfest event.
Adults, $15.95; kids (3-12), $12.95
Through May 28, 2019
The exhibition features award winning female artists with artwork that runs the spectrum of mediums from stained glass mosaics to leather sculptures, basketry to watercolor, and pottery to oil. Each artist has significant ties to Oklahoma.
Beautiful Minds: Dyslexia and the Creative Advantage
Nov. 10, 2018 - July 14, 2019
The exhibition explores the minds, art and successes of people past and present who have or had dyslexia — from well-known entrepreneurs, artists, authors and scientists like Steve Jobs, Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein and Agatha Christie to contemporary artists including John Gill of Alfred, New York, Mark Wittig of North Little Rock, Arkansas, and Holly Wilson of Mustang, Oklahoma. The exhibition also features the artwork of dozens of students with dyslexia from Oklahoma City’s Trinity School.
Life Imagined - The Art and Science of Automata
Feb. 24 - Sept. 29, 2019
From the Greek word automatos, meaning "moves on its own," automata are the first complex machines produced by man. Long before robots were the reality they are today, automata were created as an attempt to simulate nature and domesticate natural forces. These attempts to imitate life by mechanical means and the use of these principles have resulted in the evolution of technology over centuries.