March 10, 2020
Museum of the Western Prairie to Open “Wanted: Dead or Alive” Photography Exhibit
ALTUS, Okla. — 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.
For more information, please call 580-482-1044. The Museum of the Western Prairie is located at 1100 Memorial Drive in Altus.
The Museum of the Western Prairie is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.