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Inaugural Impressions exhibit opens

June 7

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On Friday, June 7, the Oklahoma History Center Museum will open a new exhibit in the Sam Noble Gallery entitled Inaugural Impressions. The exhibit will explore the lives and contributions of Oklahoma’s first ladies and gentleman while their spouses served as governors.
The exhibit will feature a variety of gowns from the Oklahoma Historical Society’s collections. Oklahoma’s first ladies and gentleman have always played a leading role in our history. Their professionalism and poise have increased the public’s awareness of worthy causes.

From Lillian Haskell to Sarah Stitt, our first ladies have assumed an active role in office. This exhibit highlights how our first ladies developed civic responsibility while navigating the social conventions of past eras. The exhibit follows the evolution of their roles, forged in the 1950s, 60s, 70s, and beyond.

In addition, the exhibit content will present questions about the social conventions of past eras of Oklahoma’s history, asking questions like “We do not dress today as people did at the beginning of the twentieth century. Why is that?” Interactive exhibit components will allow children and adults to explore the history of social practices, don clothing from other eras, and present themselves as if they were attending an inaugural ball. These activities will provide interpretive and educational impressions to encourage the public to interpret civic responsibility individually.

A special members-only reception at the Oklahoma History Center will be held on Thursday, June 6. The reception will feature hors d’oeuvres and drinks. George and Donna Nigh, Cathy Keating, Rhonda Walters, and a daughter of former Governor Edmondson have promised to attend the event. Become an OHS member today!

Inaugural Impressions will be open in the Sam Noble Gallery through May 30, 2025.

Rhonda Walters gown beading detail (1991.029.001, OHS Collections).


June 7
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Oklahoma History Center
800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive Oklahoma City, OK 73105