Special Exhibits

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Bellamy. Mercer.

On Display in the Tulsa World | Lorton Family Gallery May 20 - August 21, 2021

Oklahoma artists Jessica Bellamy and Sunni Mercer both explore ideas of personal and cultural identity, creating textural paintings and sculptures utilizing found objects. In her mixed media encaustic paintings, Bellamy buries, layers, excavates, and reveals imagery, texture, and elements from nature, creating art that explores identity and purpose, space and time. Mercer creates complex assemblage sculptures inspired by the human torso and patterns in nature and created from gathered objects. Through these pieces, she explores concepts of heritage, identity, and self. Click here to register for gallery events and artist talks!

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Culture on the Prairie

The portraits featured in this exhibit reveal ten patrons who helped establish Oklahoma's museums during the twentieth century. Drawn from several cultural institutions, these stories reveal many contributions made by these patrons-contributions that defined Oklahoma's early cultural community and continue to have an impact today.

Though these patrons come from diverse backgrounds and experiences, they share connections and their stories reveal similarities. The exhibit highlights artists who cultivated successful visual arts careers while helping establish arts institutions that continue to support artists today. Also featured are collectors, whose donations of precious art and artifacts served as the founding collections for museums. Finally, the exhibit explores the impact of philanthropists, many connected to the oil and gas industry, on Oklahoma's early cultural institutions.


The Life of Clara Luper: A Pioneer of the American Civil Rights Movement

Clara Luper (1923-2011) was born and raised in Jim Crow era-Oklahoma and felt firsthand the racial discrimination and injustice that pervaded society. Through her activism with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and her work as a history educator she spent her life combatting racism and segregation in Oklahoma and the United States. Her tireless efforts helped not only to desegregate public accommodations in Oklahoma, but to improve cooperation and understanding between all Oklahomans, Black and White alike, and her legacy lives on today.

The museum exhibit utilizes archival material to present a timeline of Luper's life and accomplishments, while the virtual exhibit provides more historical information. As you explore, consider her impact on the Civil Rights movement both in Oklahoma and the United States.

For more information about our temporary exhibits or the Museum's Tulsa World | Lorton Family Gallery, contact Donna Merkt, director of museum experience, at 405.523.3231.