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Current Exhibits



On Behalf of the Pioneers: The Oklahoma Century Chest 1913-2013

The Century Chest time capsule was buried on April 22, 1913, in the basement of the First Lutheran Church of Oklahoma City. One hundred years later, on April 22, 2013, the church opened the chest and revealed the perfectly preserved contents deposited by the pioneers of Oklahoma. The exhibit opening marks the 125th anniversary of the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889.

Visitors can view never-before-seen photographs, documents and American Indian artifacts and hear Oklahoma pioneer Angelo C. Scott's speech delivered at the burial of the chest in 1913. The exhibit also includes the 1889 poster promoting the first Fourth of July celebration in Oklahoma City on July 4, 1889, a letter to the blind of 2013 written in braille, the First State Flag of Oklahoma, the pen used by President William McKinley to sign the Free Homes Bill for Oklahoma and a 1913 bird's-eye view photograph of Oklahoma City showing the city like never before. In addition the exhibit contains dozens of messages, prophecies and letters from the pioneers of 1913 to their descendants 100 years later. Call 405-522-0765 for more information or visit www.okhistory.org/centurychest.

Born to Freedom: Allan Houser Centennial

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the internationally acclaimed Warm Springs Chiricahua Apache artist Allan Houser's birth, a first-ever, statewide collaboration of Oklahoma museums and cultural institutions is honoring his memory, works and legacy.

The Oklahoma History Center presents the exhibit "Born to Freedom: Allan Houser Centennial" as one of the institutions participating in the Houser celebration. The exhibit will run Tuesday, March 11 through December 31, 2014. Located in the E. K. & Thelma Gaylord Special Exhibits Gallery, the exhibit will feature sculptures composed of a variety of artistic media, watercolors, sketchbooks, and culturally significant historic treasures. Additionally the award-winning film "Unconquered: Allan Houser and the Legacy of One Apache Family" will be featured in the exhibit.

Allan Houser was a renowned Native American artist who gained prominence with his excellent artistic work throughout the 20th century. As a testament to his work his iconic sculpture "Sacred Rain Arrow" is featured on Oklahoma's license plates. Houser was born on June 30, 1914, on the family farm in Apache, Okla. His parents, Sam and Blossom Haozous, both Apache, were brought to Fort Sill as prisoners of war. Finally after 27 years of incarceration, the Fort Sill Apaches were released from imprisonment. Allan Capron Haozous, later to be known by Houser, was one of the first Apache children born into freedom.

The Oklahoma State Arts Council is also participating in the statewide Houser celebration, featuring the loan of five of Houser's monumental pieces including "Morning Prayer," "Singing Heart," "Spirit of the Wind," "Warm Springs Apache Man," and "Hunter's Vision." These pieces will be on display through December 2014. For more information on celebrating Allan Houser with an Oklahoma perspective, please visit www.okhouser.org. The "Born to Freedom:  Allan Houser Centennial Exhibit" is sponsored in part by OPUBCO in conjunction with the Oklahoma Museums Association.

100 Years of the Federal Reserve System

Explore the history of the Federal Reserve and the Oklahoma City Branch in this new exhibit. This exhibit also highlights Robert L. Owen, one of the first Senators from Oklahoma and co-author of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. Included are artifacts from Robert L. Owen and his family, examples of coins and currency before 1913, photographs, and original documents, including a signed letter to Owen from President Woodrow Wilson.

Historic images, timelines, and educational materials are available online now at okhistory.org/federalreserve.

Oklahoma Society of Impressionists Exhibit

In partnership with the Oklahoma History Center the Oklahoma Society of Impressionists presents a new exhibit at the Oklahoma History Center. The exhibit depicts Oklahoma's historic landmarks, landscapes, and still lifes portraying items from our Oklahoma heritage. This special exhibit will run through August 2014 and will feature a change in images at six months. The exhibit is free with museum admission. Find out more about this exhibit.

Please note this exhibit is on display in the Chesapeake Event Center; this room is also used for meetings and special events. Visitors are encouraged to call in advance to confirm the room will be open to the public on the day of their visit.

Oklahoma Writers—A Literary Tableau

This new exhibit focuses on writers in a variety of mediums including historians, western writers, journalists, memoirists, playwrights and screen writers, literary novelists, mystery and crime writers, science fiction, fantasy and horror writers, young adult and children's writers, poets, and Oklahoma song writers.

Watch interviews, read bios, and learn more about Oklahoma writers at okhistory.org/writers.

For more information about this exhibit contact Larry O'Dell at 405-522-6676 or by email at lodell@okhistory.org or David Davis at 405-522-0798 or by email at ddavis@okhistory.org


Oklahoma @ the Movies

This new major exhibit celebrates Oklahomans involvement with the motion picture industry. This celebration showcases the creativity and innovation of Oklahomans and their legacy of creating, starring in, and watching motion pictures on the silver screen. The exhibit a lso explores film stories about Cowboys and Westerns, American Indians and Hollywood, African American movies filmed in the state, the film industry in Oklahoma, and the "Oklahoma Image" on screen. Find out more.

Exhibit Companion Book Now Available

OHS is pleased to announce the release of Oklahoma @ the Movies, a companion book to the exhibit. From the book jacket:

"The second in the Oklahoma Historical Society's Popular Culture Series, Oklahoma @ the Movies gives readers an intimate, insider's view of the Sooner State's impact on Hollywood over the motion-picture industry's hundred-year history. This is a lively and entertaining story-the story of Sooner State stardom!"

Contributing authors include: Elizabeth Anthony, Gary Rhodes, Bill Moore, Hugh Foley, Steve Gragert, Debra Spindle, Guy Logsdon, Bobby Weaver, John McConnel, Loretta Jackson, Dianna Everett, Ryan LaCroix, Larry O'Dell, Brian Hearn, John Wooley, and Gray Frederickson. The book is available now for $34.99. Visit our online store to purchase or call 405-522-5214.

Oklahoma & The Day That Will Live In Infamy

December 7 of 2011 was a pivotal anniversary. It was the 70th anniversary of when the United States entered into World War II with the simultaneous attacks on Wake Island, Guam, the Philippines, & Hawaii.

Why is it a "pivotal" anniversary? This current generation will bridge the gap between the living veterans of these events and the literal memory of what happened to these men and women. Or...the literal memory of what they experienced.

Although there were not any Japanese planes that attacked the state of Oklahoma, many Oklahomans experienced the devastation those planes unleashed on that part of the world. We want to tell these important stories so that succeeding generations will remember tyranny and its effects in the hope that it will not be repeated. This exhibit is currently on display in the Sam Noble gallery.

Caddo Leadership and Community

Within the OneOK Gallery of the Oklahoma History Center there is an area set aside to provide exhibit space for each tribe to interpret their own history to the public. Each of these small venues is a cooperative effort between the tribe and the Oklahoma Museum of History. The initial tribes featured in this area were the Pawnee, Osage, Choctaw, and Kiowa peoples. In 2008 the Chickasaw Nation replaced the Kiowa Tribe in this area.

This exhibit is the end result of a year-long cooperative effort between the Caddo Nation Museum and the Oklahoma Museum of History. The Caddo Nation Museum provided the interpretation, graphics, design ideas, and artifacts for the area. The staff of the Oklahoma Museum of History provided tools, material, and technical expertise for the installation and creation of graphic panels.

The title of the exhibit is "Caddo Leadership and Community." Within this exhibit visitors will be presented with information regarding Caddo history, the Caddo Turkey Dance, and artifacts from their traditional homelands. These artifacts are a core piece of the interpretation of the geographic expanse that the Caddo confederacy once covered. These are a pot from Craig Mound at Spiro, two chert points from a village site in Louisiana, a pipe from Battle Mound in Arkansas, and a replica of a shell gorget from a village site in Texas. The original Texas gorget is too fragile to move from its current storage location. Also on display is a cast replica of an effigy pipe from Spiro Mounds. This pipe, commonly referred to as 'Big Boy' or the 'Resting Warrior', features the carved figure of a kneeling man wearing heads for earrings.