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We the People: A Portrait of Early Oklahoma

August 19 @ 10:00 am - October 22 @ 5:00 pm

Family portrait, circa 1915. Henry M. Wantland, photographer. Stillwater, Oklahoma. 2000.005.3.0654a. Robert E. Cunningham Collection, Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

In 1891, Henry M. Wantland and his young family arrived in Oklahoma Territory and settled in Stillwater, a small town born of the Land Run and bustling with opportunity and ambition. He eventually purchased a photography studio and spent the next two decades recording the world around him—not just the people, but the streets they walked, the stores they frequented, the churches they attended, and the progress they celebrated. The diverse and vibrant communities of central Oklahoma emerge from his photographs.

In August 2017, the Museum will present a selection of his work from the Dickinson Research Center’s Robert E. Cunningham Oklahoma History Collection. The exhibit will utilize new research to reveal stories and details behind the images. Visitors will meet Fern Lowry and the Sanford West family; encounter Rebekahs and Odd Fellows; enjoy an early example of Photoshop; experience the fun of a carnival and much more.

If you have Oklahoma roots, you might even recognize a name or a face—and discover their story is also yours.


This exhibition was made possible in part by:


August 19 @ 10:00 am
October 22 @ 5:00 pm
Event Category:


National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd St
Oklahoma City, OK 73111 United States
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(405) 478-2250