We are currently closed to the public.
The first priority of the Oklahoma Historical Society is the health and safety of our patrons, volunteers, and staff. We stand with our fellow Oklahomans in the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have closed our sites and affiliates to the public through April 30.
In an effort to minimize gatherings, all OHS-sponsored events are canceled or postponed through May 2, and some events have been canceled beyond that date. We are posting all changes on our events calendar to keep you updated as the situation develops.
Thank you for your support and for being part of the OHS community.
Wanted: Dead or Alive exhibit closes
The Museum of the Western Prairie in Altus will open a traveling exhibit, Wanted: Dead or Alive, on Tuesday, March 24. This photography exhibit is comprised of images of some of Oklahoma’s most infamous criminals and will be displayed during the museum’s regular hours of operation, Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., until May 29.
Images utilized in the exhibit have been drawn from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the University of Oklahoma Western History Collections, the National Archives, the vast photographic archives of the Oklahoma Historical Society and private lenders. The 39 black-and-white images on display consist of mugshots, crime scene locations and group shots with criminals and law enforcement officers. They span more than 70 years, starting before statehood in 1907 and reaching into the late 1950s.
While there may be a few familiar names, such as the Doolin and Dalton Gangs and Ma Barker, the exhibit showcases stories that might not be as well known. Visitors will learn about whiskey towns, the Tulsa Central Park Gang, Spencer State Bank, Wanda Bartram, Ralph Roe and many more. Many of the people featured were born and raised in Oklahoma or moved here and began their lives of crime. Sometimes the stories are as much about the location as the individual. Although many of the tales feature truly despicable characters, others tell of people who temporarily went astray. Some of the accounts include strange twists and turns, and there is even an unsolved mystery.