Guide to Current Museum Exhibits
Photo Courtesy of the Sam Noble Museum. See their Megalodon exhibit before it closes Jan. 6!
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
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.
(14400 S Bryant Rd, Edmond) 285-1010
Seals of Isaiah and King Hezekiah Discovered
June 10 - Jan. 27, 2019
“Seals of Isaiah and King Hezekiah Discovered” is an archaeological exhibition that will enable visitors to discover the history of ancient Judah’s most famous king-prophet pairing—a story which illuminates how Jerusalem escaped annihilation at the hands of King Sennacherib’s Assyrian army at the end of the 8th century B.C. Items on display will include nearly three dozen artifacts from the time of King Hezekiah, including the recently discovered royal seal impressions of King Hezekiah and Isaiah from the Ophel excavations, royal Judean clay vessels, and weapons used during the siege of Lachish. The exhibit will also feature key Assyrian history and will include such artifacts as the famous Annals of Sennacherib Prism (aka Taylor/Jerusalem/Oriental Prism), various other Assyrian inscriptions, and replicas of the famous Assyrian wall reliefs.
(1522 S. Robinson Ave, Oklahoma City)
Sept. 22 - Jan. 6
Visitors to Beyond will journey through the known, into the unknown on a mysterious journey into what lies beyond.
(27 E Edwards St, Edmond) 340-4481
Dec. 1 - 31
Features the work of a different local artist each month. Upcoming in January, Cody L. Rains.
(431 S Boulevard, Edmond) 340-0078
Closed for construction until Feb. 2019.
(555 Elm, Norman) 325-4938
Still Looking: The Photography Collection of Carol Beesley Hennagin
June 12 - Dec. 30, 2018
Carol Beesley Hennagin’s love for photography began during her education at the University of California, Los Angeles. For more than 35 years, she has collected works by many of the best known photographers of the 20th century. Still Looking offers a survey of Beesley’s collecting practices and includes photographs by established artists such as Edward Weston and Frederick Sommer, as well as lesser-known figures.
Visualizing Art History
June 12 - Dec. 30, 2018
Visualizing Art History presents the results of an experimental assignment completed by University of Oklahoma students. What you see in Visualizing Art History are not artworks but works of art history. Replete with topics, theses, arguments, counterarguments, evidence and conclusions, these projects are equivalent to the research papers that accumulate on a professor’s desk at the end of a semester.
Ticket to Ride
Oct. 5 - Dec. 30, 2018
Prior to the widespread availability of the automobile, artists experienced and explored the American West by train. Celebrated image makers of the American West, including Thomas Moran and Maynard Dixon, and less well-known designers and painters alike, courted Western railways for transportation, for sales, and for the international promotion of their work and interests. This exhibition features paintings, studies, posters, and graphics that emerged from the parallel relationships between artists and commercial designers with Western rail companies between the late 1880s and early 1930s, which were key decades in passenger travel.
Daren Kendall: Threshold With Me
Oct. 5 - Dec. 30, 2018
Threshold with Me invites viewers to mark their passage through seven sculptural thresholds based on the seven terraces of Dante’s purgatory. Representing moments of both suffering and spiritual growth, Daren Kendall’s work explores universal themes of love and loss with an ultimate aim toward the attainment of Paradise as reconnection and reconciliation.
(1900 W MacArthur, Shawnee)
The Art of Giving
Nov. 1 - 25, 2018
This special exhibition features a selection of recently-gifted artworks.
(301 W Reno Ave)
Nature: Paintings by Anthony Dyke and Susan Morrison-Dyke
Through January 31, 2019
The show features large canvases created specifically as a celebratory tribute to the “beauty and inventiveness” of “nature and architecture.” The artist’s abstract paintings share a common thread by the use of textures and colorful botanical elements and landscapes. This exhibit is free to the public to view. Hours are: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. The works of art are available for sale. Proceeds benefit the Myriad Gardens Foundation.
(1700 NE 63rd) 478-2250
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.
Oct. 4, 2018 - Jan. 6, 2019
The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA) showcases the best of saddlemaking, bit and spur making, silversmithing, and rawhide braiding; while the Cowboy Artists of America (CAA) features fine art from members who celebrate the West through painting, drawing and sculpture.
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.
Coloring the West
Nov. 17, 2018 - July 14, 2019
Featuring personal items from the archival collections of Bettina Steinke (1913-1999), Wilson Hurley (1924-2008), and Tom Ryan (1922-2011), Coloring the West puts you in front of the artists’ easel. You will learn how these artists worked, and try your hand at “coloring the west” using their techniques for interpreting the colorful landscapes and people that make up the American West.
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.
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.
Spiro and the Native American Art of the Mississippian World
Feb. 1 - 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.
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.
(415 Couch Dr) 236-3100
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.
Victorian Radicals: From the Pre-Raphaelites to the Arts & Crafts Movement
Oct. 13, 2018 – Jan. 6, 2019
In the second half of the 19th century, three generations of young, rebellious artists and designers revolutionized the visual arts in Britain by engaging with and challenging the new industrial world around them. Featuring works by pioneering artists including Ford Madox Brown, Edward Burne-Jones, William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, William Morris, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Elizabeth Sidall, “Victorian Radicals” will represent the spectrum of avant-garde practices of the Victorian era, emphasizing the response of Britain’s first modern art movement to the unfettered industrialization of the period. These artists’ attention to detail, use of vibrant colors and engagement with both literary themes and contemporary life will be illustrated through a selection of paintings, drawings and watercolors presented alongside outstanding examples of decorative arts.
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.
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.
Patricia and Byron J. Gambulos ZooZeum at the Oklahoma City Zoo
(2101 NE 50th St) 424-3344
National Geographic Photo Ark
Sept. 12 - Dec. 16
National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore has spent much of his career racing the clock, attempting to document every species living in the world’s zoos and wildlife sanctuaries before it’s too late. Since 2006, Sartore has photographed 8,485 species, with another 4,000 remaining to complete his Photo Ark. There will be a total of 52 pieces on display at the ZooZeum. Guests will be able to purchase copies of Sartore’s book “The Photo Ark: One Man’s Quest to Document the World’s Animals” at the Safari Gift Shop. The exhibition will also engage audiences of all ages through free educational materials and activities.
(3000 General Pershing) 951-0000
Nov. 16, 2018 - Jan. 18, 2019
ArtNow is Oklahoma Contemporary's annual exhibition of Oklahoma-based contemporary artists. This year's exhibition includes traditional media — such oil painting, photography, ceramics and weaving — as well as crafts appearing for the first time, such as (on paper) tattoo designs and handmade knives. It closes with art sale and a party with cocktails and tastemakers. Proceeds help keep Oklahoma Contemporary exhibitions open free of charge, year-round.
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.
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
Gayle Curry: Unknown Origins
Oct. 4, 2018 - Feb. 9, 2018
Cancer cells aren’t usually considered things of beauty, but in the artistic hands of Gayle L. Curry, that’s exactly what they’ve become. Gayle explores the microscopic images of cancer cells as a way to process this ugly disease. Whether a survivor, caregiver, or just someone that has been touched by cancer, we are all looking for meaning, and a way to process the pain and suffering so it can lead to empowerment and healing.
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
Where They Went: A Photographic History of Oklahoma Animals
Opened September 21
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.
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.
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.
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
Megalodon: Largest Shark that Ever Lived
May 26, 2018 - Jan. 6, 2019
At 60 feet long, Megalodon was the largest shark that ever lived and a dominant marine predator. Though Megalodon vanished 2 million years ago, its fascinating story inspires lessons for science and shark conservation. The exhibition showcases both fossil and modern shark specimens as well as full-scale models from several collections. Visitors enter a full-size sculpture of Megalodon through massive jaws and discover this shark’s history and the world it inhabited, including its size, structure, diet, lifespan, relatives, neighbors, evolution and extinction.
(2020 Remington Pl) 602-6664
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.
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.