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
Women of Banjo
June 2020 – May 2021
Women of the Banjo chronicles the contributions of women to the colorful past, vibrant present and unlimited future of the banjo. From prominent contemporary performers such as Alison Brown and Rhiannon Giddens to pop icons Taylor Swift, Dolly Parton and many others, historic insights, instruments, stage attire, and a glimpse of ever-changing fashion trends all help in the telling of this important aspect of banjo history.
(27 E Edwards St, Edmond) 340-4481; Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Features the work of a different local artist each month.
- August – Behnaz Sohrabian
- September – FAI Adult Student Show
- October – David Padgett
- November – Sheryl McClain
- December – Art in Schools
(431 S Boulevard, Edmond) 340-0078; Tuesday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturdays, 1 – 4 p.m.
Admission is free.
Darci Lynne’s Got Talent
Aug. 9, 2020 – Jan. 30, 2021
Darci Lynne was just twelve when she won the NBC’s America’s Got Talent championship for her singing ventriloquist act. The Deer Creek student had gotten her start in 2014 by winning first place at the Edmond’s Got Talent competition. Now’s she’s a performing sensation, appearing on television shows and traveling around the county to sell-out crowds after having her own show in Las Vegas. Edmond Historical Society & Museum is proud to present America’s first-ever museum exhibit dedicated to Darci Lynne, a hometown hero. Artifacts featured include clothing from her television performances, her first practice puppets, tour posters, and scripts.
Apron Strings: Ties to the Past
Open June 16, 2020
Apron Strings: Ties to the Past features fifty-one vintage and contemporary examples that review the apron’s role as an emotionally charged vehicle for expression with a rich and varied craft history that is still viable today. Using aprons dating from the late 1930s through the present, the exhibition chronicles changing attitudes toward women and domestic work. It also surveys the wide range of design and craft techniques apron-makers have used to express themselves, while still working within creative venues traditionally available to women.
Back to the 1950s
March 2020 – January 2021
Back to the 1950s is a year-long exhibit that will change seasonally, with all artifacts being switched out for summer, fall, and winter and highlights prosperity and unrest in America. Each season will address new themes.
(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.
Sept. 10, 2020 – March 7, 2021
This exhibition features the work of six former Oklahomans who left the state in the late 1950s for Los Angeles: Patrick Blackwell, Joe Goode, Jerry McMillan, Ed Ruscha, Paul Rusch, and Mason Williams. Their respective contributions in various media suggest the friends held similar sensibilities. Although each of the artists took a different path, the intersections between their lives and work over the decades, from their youth in Oklahoma to their relocation to and life in Southern California, constitute a shared history evident in their work over six decades.
Kiowa Agency: Stories of the Six
Oct. 1, 2020 – Jan. 17, 2021
Kiowa Agency: Stories of the Six refers to artists Spencer Asah, James Auchiah, Jack Hokeah, Stephen Mopope, Lois Smoky, and Monroe Tsa-toke. The exhibition demonstrates how before and after their short residencies at OU, members of the Kiowa Six acted as strong agents of cultural preservation and transmission while navigating pressures of assimilation from the federal Kiowa Agency and external expectations for their artistic practices.
(1900 W MacArthur, Shawnee); Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Adults, $5; kids (6-17), $3; Kids (5 & under), free. – Museum is currently offering free admission during July and August. Reservations are recommended.
Salvador Dali’s Stairway to Heaven: Illustrations for Les Chants de Maldoror and the Divine Comedy
Sept. 11 – Nov. 1, 2020
Les Chants de Maldoror was a favorite among the Surrealists, many of whom found beauty in art and literature devoted to the pursuit of the irrational and the unorthodox. A poetic novel of sorts that unfolds in a non-linear fashion, Les Chants de Maldoror describes the violent and perverse character of a despicable protagonist who has renounced God, humanity, and conventional morality. Dante’s Divine Comedy is considered to be one of the most important works in the history of Italian literature. Although it too is a poetic narrative, The Divine Comedy is told sequentially, taking its readers along with Dante on a journey through Hell (Inferno), Purgatory, and Paradise. Allegorically, it is often interpreted as representing the trajectory of the soul towards God. When Dali illustrated Les Chants de Maldoror in the early 1930s, he identified as a Surrealist. By the time Dali’s illustrations for the Divine Comedy were published in 1960, Dali had renounced Surrealism and become a born-again Catholic.
Taken together, this exhibition brings the viewer from depravity to God through these texts and illustrations.
May 8 – June 20, 2021
Roberto Ugalde is an adept oil painter who expresses the essence of his subjects in a way that draws the viewer into the painting. He masters the use of oils in an impressionistic manner which breaths life to his landscapes and figures.
(301 W Reno Ave) 445-7080; Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Admission is free.
Jason Wilson and Sara Atlee
July 9 – Aug. 2020
Wilson produces Perceptual art using his own special acrylic paint formula to hand paint his canvas. Atlee focuses on quilting and is known for her colorful and geometric compositions, rich with energy and free-form texture.
Fireflies by Nathan Pratt
Open July 17, 2020
(508 N Peters Ave, Norman) 321-0156; Tuesday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – noon & 1 – 4 p.m.
Admission is free.
Pioneer Photography: The Life and Art of Emma Coleman
Open Feb. 14, 2020
Quilts and Handicrafts Show
Aug. 14 – Oct. 17, 2020
Explore pieces of the museum’s collection and more.
(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
Storytellers and Seller: Artist Illustrators
March 21 – Nov. 15, 2020
Before pixels, programs, and software transformed graphic design, illustrators gave form to thought and generated the majority of public imagery. Using their creativity and talents to promote specific ideas, they helped tell stories and sell products through books, newspapers, magazines, advertisements, logos, labels, calendars, billboards, and even coloring books. These commercial storytellers influenced public opinion and consumerism, and included many western artists.
Tucker Smith: A Celebration of Nature
Oct. 2, 2020 – Jan. 3, 2021
This exhibit will be retrospective, with work ranging from Smith’s early years as a professional artist to his most recent paintings. It will also present the breadth of subject matter he has tackled, with an emphasis on western wildlife, but also including camp and cowboy scenes, straight landscapes, a few foreign locales, and at least one railroad painting.
West: The American Cowboy
Oct. 17 – Dec. 13, 2020
French photographer Anouk Masson Krantz revisits the enduring iconic symbol of America’s pioneering spirit with a fresh, inspiring and contemporary view from an outsider’s perspective. “WEST: The American Cowboy” is a traveling exhibition that will debut at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
Blazing a Trail
Nov. 21, 2020 – May 16, 2021
2020 is the centennial for Women’s Suffrage in the United States. For most of the West, however, suffrage was realized years or even decades before the rest of the country. Blazing a Trail explores why Western Women as a whole were more successful than their Eastern counterparts in achieving polling parity with men.
Close Encounters: Western Wildlife
Nov. 25, 2020 – July 11, 2021
The animals of the American West are as iconic as the landscapes they inhabit. See raccoons, owls, deer, elk, bison, mountain lions, and more. Stand within inches of a grizzly. No binoculars or bear spray required.
Find Her West
Dec. 12, 2020 – May 16, 2021
The American West is difficult to define and far more complex than stereotypes suggest. It is a destination, an experience, an idea, and for some even home. It has few boundaries and crosses cultures, geography, socioeconomics, gender, age, and eras. Photographs and other archival items from the Museum’s Dickinson Research Center reveal this diversity.
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.
The Art of Light
July 7 – Sept. 27, 2020
In celebration of Oklahoma Contemporary’s inaugural exhibition, Bright Golden Haze, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art will present its own satellite exhibition, The Art of Light. Inspired by the exploration of light as a tool to create space, The Art of Light seeks to communicate the unique visual experiences provided by different forms of light when they are employed to achieve artistic ends.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Fireworks (Archives)
July 1 – Sept. 27, 2020
Fireworks (Archives), 2014, is the first of a series of works by internationally renowned filmmaker and visual artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul (b.: 1970) to treat the politics of Thailand through the use of pyrotechnics. In this single-channel video installation that the artist’s website describes as a “hallucinatory memory machine,” the flickering light of fireworks and the sudden flash of a digital camera illuminate unconventional animal sculptures at a temple in Northeast Thailand
Art with a History
June 17 – Nov. 29, 2020
Art with a History delves into the provenance of a number of diverse works of art from the permanent collection. Featuring a range of artworks, including paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, from the Renaissance to the twentieth century, this exhibition explores the unique ownership histories of each object and the methods used to uncover their stories.
Share Lives, Distant Places: Recent Acquisitions in Photography
Oct. 17, 2020 – Jan. 10, 2021
Shared Lives, Distant Places highlights contemporary photographers who employ different photography styles—documentary, photojournalism, and street photography—to capture the global human experience, offering alternative ways of seeing and understanding the people, places, and events that shape the world in which we live.
Beaux Arts at 75
Nov. 7, 2020 – April 25, 2021
The Beaux Arts collection is an especially playful and eclectic body of work that includes everything from an idyllic summer landscape by a master Abstract Expressionist to a kitschy 1980s “altarpiece” featuring a pair of photorealistic Dalmatians.
Moving Vision: Op and Kinetic Art from the Sixties and Seventies
Feb. 20 – May 16, 2021
Moving Vision: Op and Kinetic Art from the Sixties and Seventies highlights one of the great strengths of the Museum’s permanent collection–OKCMOA’s extensive, high-quality holdings in Op (optical) and Kinetic (movement) art. Moving Vision will bring together approximately forty works.
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.
(2000 Remington Pl) 425-0262; Monday-Sunday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Adults, $12; seniors (65 & up) & kids (3-11), $9; kids (2 & under), free
Art Gone Wild
Sept. 1 – 30
Art by animals for animals – that’s the unique focus of Art Gone Wild, the Oklahoma City Zoo’s collection of original animal paintings. View this year’s new pieces from various animals including elephants, giraffe, goats, ostrich, various reptiles, sea lions, tigers and more on display and available for purchase at the Zoo. With assistance from their caretakers, each animal applies its own technique from paintbrushes to using their noses, feathers, flippers or paws to paint! Art Gone Wild is part of the Zoo’s enrichment program and the paints are safe for the animals to use as they are non-toxic and washable. Prices for these wild works of art range from $35 to $300, depending on size. All net proceeds benefit one of the Zoo’s conservation initiatives. Art Gone Wild will be on display in the Zoo’s Guest Services office located in the Entry Plaza from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Masks are required for all guests 11 and older upon entry into Guest Services.
Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center – Museum is tentatively opening in August.
(11 NW 11th St) 951-0000; Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Admission is free.
Bright Golden Haze
Oklahoma Contemporary’s new downtown location will open with the inaugural exhibition Bright Golden Haze. This insightful group exhibition will explore the ways in which artists use light to create place, both geographic and conceptual, inspired by both the uniquely influential quality of light and space in the state and the new building itself.
Shadow on the Glare
Shadow on the Glare will feature photo and video works that critically respond to Bright Golden Haze’s themes of light and place — in this case, focusing particularly on the landscapes of Oklahoma.
Ed Ruscha: OKLA
This exhibition is a landmark survey of work by Oklahoma-raised, world-renowned artist Ed Ruscha, in his first-ever solo exhibition in his home state. Focusing on his groundbreaking drawings, prints, books, photos, films and graphic design, the exhibition will include works from all stages of his 60-year career.
Aug. 6 – Oct. 19, 2020
Aqueous, an interactive light installation, now winds through Campbell Art Park as part of our inaugural Bright Golden Haze exhibition. During the day, Aqueous’ surface will reflect the sky, audience and surrounding environment. At night, Aqueous will engage visitors as they walk along its surface — lighting up as they step, dance or play along the pathway. Visitors will be asked to socially distance as they explore the space.
(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.
The Visage of Modern Matriarchy: An Installation by DG Smalling and Nicole Moan
Oct. 6, 2020 – Jan. 21, 2021
Featuring two Oklahoma artists, DG Smalling and Nicole Moan, this exhibit visually explores the concepts of contemporary female warriors and reemerging matriarchy. Inspired by hope for change and reform offered through the Operation Lady Justice initiative, Smalling’s stylized portraits of contemporary female leaders emerge from continuous strong black lines influenced by Southeastern tribal hieroglyphs and bloom with organic shapes of bold, consistent color. Envisioning the ethereal armor of contemporary female warriors, Moan manifests this spiritual regalia in elaborate, textural, mixed-media vestments, featuring ceramic bodices, natural embellishments, and hand-crafted fabrics.
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.
In the Vernacular: Everyday Images of Oklahoma Life
June 22, 2020 – June 2021
In the Vernacular: Everyday Images of Oklahoma Life is a celebration of everyday image-making featuring thirty-two photographs from the Oklahoma Historical Society’s collections. Visitors will see fun, quirky, and sometimes odd images of Oklahomans. The photographs on display were captured for a variety of reasons, including souvenir postcards, government archives, magazines, newspapers, and family albums.
Until We Organize: The Struggle for Equal Rights Amendment
Until We Organize: The Struggle for the Equal Rights Amendment, featuring 23 photographs both local and national, from activists for and against the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The exhibit focuses on the most tumultuous years of Oklahoma’s battle over the amendment, from the late 1970s to the early 1980s.
This exhibit is located in the Chesapeake Event Center and Gallery, which is used for meetings and events. Patrons should call in advance to make sure the room is open to the public on the day of your visit.
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.
Sam Noble Museum – Museum is tentatively opening in August.
(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.
Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs
Aug. 4 – Nov. 8, 2020
Step back 290 million years to a time when bizarre creatures dominated life on land and sea. Learn about these extraordinary creatures and how 90% of all life vanished in the largest extinction event of all time. The Permian Period ended millions of years before dinosaurs evolved. This unique traveling exhibition brings the past back to life with vivid artwork and scientifically accurate 3-D sculptures that augment an amazing collection of fossils on view.
(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
Tom Shannon: Universe in the Mind
Through Oct. 25, 2020
For more than 50 years, artist and inventor Tom Shannon has been exploring the intersections of art, science and technology in unexpected, mind-bending ways. His science-inspired art is on display in Oklahoma for the first time. The exhibition features the U.S. debut of “Atom Compass Array,” an installation of hundreds of magnetic spheres suspended from the glass roof of the museum’s lobby, and within smART Space, a 6-foot edition of Shannon’s “Synchronous World Clock” created specifically for SMO.
Cosmic Culture: Intersections of Art and Outer Space
Through Sept. 2020
“Cosmic Culture: Intersections of Art and Outer Space” explores how space exploration and visual art have influenced each other. Circle the gallery and see 1940s and ‘50s prints from science fiction artist Chesley Bonestell — an inspiration to astronomer and astrophysicist Carl Sagan — alongside NASA images taken years later, historic star charts from around the world, planetary landscapes, the life cycle of stars, a mixed media installation from reclaimed materials, a feed of NASA images of the sun, and much more.
Through Dec. 31, 2020
Provided through the generosity of the Kirkpatrick Family Fund, Prismatic Projections merges art and science into a piece designed to reveal the beauty and wonder hidden within a seemingly simple ray of sunlight. The exhibit captures natural sunlight and diffracts it onto the ground in a series of rainbows for you to investigate the resulting colorful spectrum. Prismatic Projections is SMO’s contribution to Oklahoma Contemporary Art Center and its inaugural exhibition, Bright Golden Haze: Reflections.
(10301 S Sunnylane Rd) 814-0006; Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 – 5 p.m.
Adults, $11; kids (3-12), $9
From comparative anatomy to classification to adaptation and locomotion, SKELETONS has been designed with learning in mind! Currently displaying over 300 skeletons from all corners of the world, visitors have a unique opportunity to compare and contrast many rare species normally not seen in museum exhibits. In addition, The museum features a variety of North American specimens ranging from tiny mice and shrew skeletons to a 40 foot humpback whale.