March 8, 2022
Oklahoma State Capitol Museum to Open March 22
OKLAHOMA CITY — On March 22, 2022, at 10 a.m. the Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS) will open the Oklahoma State Capitol Museum, a state-of-the-art gallery space in the Oklahoma State Capitol. Created as part of the Oklahoma Capitol Restoration Project and located on the ground floor near the new primary public entrance on the south side of the Capitol, the Oklahoma State Capitol Museum contains 4,400 square feet of exhibit space and 13 exhibit cases, featuring more than 125 artifacts relating to the history of the Oklahoma State Capitol and the work of Oklahoma’s state government.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the museum will begin at 10 a.m. on March 22 in the ground floor rotunda of the State Capitol. OHS Executive Director Trait Thompson will welcome guests, followed by remarks from Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell. Thompson served as the project manager for the Oklahoma Capitol Restoration Project prior to becoming executive director of the OHS. Dan Provo, director of the Oklahoma History Center, will give a description of the museum and the exhibits housed within it, and then Lt. Gov. Pinnell will lead the way to the museum for the ribbon cutting. Visitors will have the opportunity to tour the museum, and OHS staff will be available to answer questions and demonstrate the use of the various hands-on, audiovisual elements.
“The Oklahoma State Capitol Museum is a necessary addition to our Capitol Building,” said Lt. Gov. Pinnell. “No state can match our heritage and history, and these exhibits will provide Oklahomans and out-of-state visitors with a hands-on way to experience that history. I appreciate the hard work Trait Thompson and the rest of the Oklahoma Historical Society have put in to make this dream a reality.”
Visitors will be greeted by a five-minute custom animation projected in a 270-degree arc showing a brief history of the Oklahoma State Capitol. A series of 20 graphic panels and 8 audiovisual interactives will tell the stories of Oklahoma politics and of the State Capitol itself. This rich history will come alive as visitors view important artifacts from Oklahoma’s political past, such as a working draft of the Oklahoma Constitution, the quill pen used by President Theodore Roosevelt to sign the Oklahoma Statehood Proclamation and a 1970s-era voting machine. As guests walk through the exhibit, they can look back toward the entrance to a large, lenticular image of the Capitol that shows the building’s evolution over time as the image is viewed from different points in the gallery. In anticipation of school or organization field trips to the Capitol, the gallery was designed with open spaces to facilitate student activities. The exhibit was designed by Cameron Eagle of Ink Ranch Inc, with research, writing and installation by staff from the Oklahoma Historical Society.
“The new Oklahoma State Capitol Museum is going to provide a key educational component to our beautiful Capitol for visitors from around the world,” said Thompson. “The Oklahoma Historical Society has worked very hard to install exhibits that showcase the unique story of our Capitol and help people of all ages understand the important work that takes place within its walls. This museum is an integral part in making the Capitol a must-see destination when people come to Oklahoma City.”
Admission to the Oklahoma State Capitol Museum is free to all visitors. The museum will be open from Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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.