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Beyond the Portraits: Artists and their Subjects

The Gaylord-Pickens Museum, home of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, is excited to launch our first virtual exhibit! Beyond the Portraits: Artists and their Subjects is an exploration of the lives of the artists and their subjects portrayed in portraits (7 paintings and 1 bust) of Oklahoma Hall of Fame Members. The exhibit provides insight into how various artists portray their subjects in a variety of artistic styles in order to showcase not only their subjects’ appearances, but also their personalities and spirits.

Beyond the Portraits: Artists and their Subjects was the first special exhibit to be curated for the Story of the Portraits gallery. Formerly, this gallery was utilized for a permanent exhibit, but has been repurposed as a special exhibit space so the museum can provide fresh content and engagement with our Portraits and Busts Collection for our visitors.

While curating the first special exhibition in the Story of the Portraits gallery, I utilized both the Portraits and Busts Collection itself while also taking advantage of the materials available in the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Archives. In the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Members Collection, I found information about the subjects and some of the artists, as well as details regarding the provenance of some of the portraits. Additionally, many of the artists, who are not Hall of Fame Members, were researched thoroughly by Archives staff utilizing information and collections made available online by other museums as well as contacts with individuals who personally knew the artists.

In the unprecedented times in which we now find ourselves, the Gaylord-Pickens Museum is considering how best to engage with our community in alternative ways, allowing both visitors and staff to remain safe. This is one of the methods we’re exploring, making virtual versions of Museum exhibits. You can check out Beyond the Portraits: Artists and their Subjects and future virtual exhibits on our website!