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Lowell Ellsworth Smith: My Theology of Painting

May 27, 2016 @ 10:00 am - July 9, 2017 @ 5:00 pm

Ohio watercolorist and Prix de West winner, Lowell Ellsworth Smith (1924-2008), once referenced his theology of painting during an interview. Short but meaningful, the phrase summarized his relationship with art. It was more than a hobby or pastime. More than a career. It was the lens through which he saw and experienced the world.   Lowell Ellsworth Smith: My Theology of Painting explores this personal process and approach. Featuring watercolor studies and Smith’s own words and observations, it introduces the…

Power and Prestige: Headdresses of the American Plains

August 26, 2016 @ 10:00 am - May 14, 2017 @ 5:00 pm

War bonnets are an iconic image of the American West, yet the truth behind these emblematic items is more complex than the name would indicate. Going back centuries, feather headdresses played a formalized role in both war and ritual with large and subtle variants in style, use, and design.  This exhibit explores the history and development of the Native American bonnet with a particular emphasis on the “flared” style—the most recognizable and commonly worn North American Great Plains bonnet.  Headdresses,…

The Artistry of the Western Paperback

January 21 @ 10:00 am - May 14 @ 5:00 pm

During the 1940s and 1950s, book illustrators created dynamic and engaging paperback covers for western tales of cowboys, villains, duels, and danger. They might not have been sold in galleries or taken months to complete, but they remain testaments to talent and skill. Study the works of A. Leslie Ross, Robert Stanley, George Gross, Stanley Borack, Tom Ryan, and Frank McCarthy, and decide: is it art or something else? Does it belong on a bookshelf, on exhibit, or both? On…

Hollywood and the American West

February 3 @ 10:00 am - May 14 @ 5:00 pm

Candid, intimate, and raw, these photographs showcase private access to the greatest movie stars, musicians, and directors of all time. Subjects include John Wayne, Natalie Wood, Ann-Margret, John Ford, Gregory Peck, Paul Newman, Kirk Douglas, Bing Crosby, Danny Glover, Kevin Costner, and more. Organized by John Wayne Enterprises and the John R. Hamilton Archives. On display February 3 - May 14, 2017

A Yard of Turkey Red: The Western Bandanna

February 3 @ 10:00 am - May 14 @ 5:00 pm

Many a 19th-century cowboy bought a square yard of Turkey red cloth at the local mercantile and proudly tied it around his neck. The bright red material derived its name from the traditional Turkish process of dying cotton fabric. A rare collection of period bandannas provides Museum visitors a glimpse of authentic neckwear once sought after by young horsemen on the range and later popularized in Western fiction. On display February 3 – May 14, 2017

Power and Prestige Children’s Gallery

February 3 @ 10:00 am - May 14 @ 5:00 pm

Designed to complement the temporary exhibition Power and Prestige: Headdresses of the American Plains, the Museum offers a fun activity space to explore bravery, pageantry, artistry, community, and respect for culture and diversity. The Power and Prestige Children’s Gallery offers dramatic scenes and stories, a mapping journey, a story station reading area, make-and-take activity areas, and continuous programming to engage children to explore on their own, in small groups, or as a family.   On display February 3 – May 14,…

The 45th Annual Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition & Sale

June 9 @ 10:00 am - August 9 @ 5:00 pm

Frontier Commerce by Tim Solliday. Oil on canvas, 30" x 46." The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum hosts a prestigious invitational art exhibit of more than 300 Western paintings and sculptures by the finest contemporary Western artists in the nation with art seminars, receptions, and awards. The exhibiting artists bring a diversity of styles to this significant art exhibition and sale. Works range from historical pieces that reflect the early days of the West, to more contemporary and impressionistic…

Cartoons & Comics: The Early Art of Tom Ryan

July 21, 2017 @ 10:00 am - April 1, 2018 @ 5:00 pm

Cartoon. Tom Ryan, circa 1945, drawing. 2002.032.6. Tom Ryan Collection. Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Acclaimed Western artist, Tom Ryan (1922-2011), spoke often in his later years about those who inspired him. N.C. Wyeth. Howard Pyle. Frank Reilly. Even Rembrandt—but a composition book and a handful of sketches from the Museum’s Dickinson Research Center reveal another influence—cartoons and comic strips. Dating from 1936 to 1945, the small drawings provide a snapshot of Ryan’s high school and…

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,…

Life and Legacy: The Art of Jerome Tiger

August 25, 2017 @ 10:00 am - May 13, 2018 @ 5:00 pm

The Coming Weather. Jerome Tiger (Muscogee/Seminole), 1967. The Arthur and Shifra Silberman Collection, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. 1996.27.1013. 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. …

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