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Christmas Past exhibit opens, Museum of the Western Prairie
On November 1, 2017, the Museum of the Western Prairie will open a new exhibit entitled Christmas Past. This exhibit features a collection of linocut prints by Derald Swineford, who was the head of the art department at Oklahoma College for Women, Oklahoma College of Liberal Arts, and the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma from 1946 through 1977.
Each holiday season Swineford prepared one of these prints for friends, students, and colleagues. The earliest prints, completed in 1940 and 1941, were created before he left to serve in World War II; the rest were completed between 1946 and 1983. The pieces through 1960 draw mostly upon western themes, like rodeo events and square dances. After 1960 Swineford cleverly blends regionalist themes with Christmas iconography. For example, in one print, he substitutes cowboy figures for the three wise men and, in another, American Indians.
Swineford’s son, John Swineford of Chickasha, is loaning the pieces for the exhibition. Christmas Past will be on exhibit from November 1, 2017, to January 31, 2018.
A premiere program will be held on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, to explore the technique of creating linocut prints as well as the evolution of Christmas iconography through the centuries. This premiere program is hosted by the Western Trail Historical Society. It is free and open to the public.