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Oklahoma History Center Traveling Exhibits

Visit the locations listed below to see the Oklahoma History Center’s traveling exhibits.

50 Years of Photojournalism at The Oklahoman

Photojournalists have played an important role in the preservation and documentation of Oklahoma history. This exhibit features framed images from the Oklahoma Publishing Company dating from 1950 to 2000. More than twenty photographers, many from Oklahoma, are represented.

On Exhibit

Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center
Enid, Oklahoma
late August–November 8, 2020

Child Labor in Oklahoma: Photographs by Lewis Hine, 1916–1917

Social reform photographer Lewis Hine (1874–1940) spent thirty years photographing child labor across the United States. Hired by the National Child Labor Committee, Hine photographed children working in factories, mills, coal mines, farms, and in the streets to bring awareness to the abuse of child labor in early nineteenth-century America. Children were often severely injured or fatally wounded by the unsafe working conditions. Most of the children were kept out of school and many were illiterate. Although Hine focused on major cities, he did take brief trips to other parts of the country to document child labor, including Oklahoma. Hine photographed in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Lawton, Shawnee, Okmulgee, Sulphur, and a few other communities.

On Exhibit

Chisholm Trail Museum
Kingfisher, Oklahoma
September–November, 2019

Dust, Drought, and Dreams Gone Dry

Dust, Drought, and Dreams Gone Dry was organized by the American Library Association, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Dr. Jess C. Porter from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Part of the exhibit content was drawn from the Oklahoma State University library and features their Women of the Dust Bowl oral histories. Mount Holyoke College Library, which houses the Caroline Henderson papers (letters, essays and articles by a woman who farmed throughout the Dust Bowl) were also an inspiration for the exhibit.

On Exhibit

Homestead National Monument of America, National Park Service
Beatrice, Nebraska
April–June, 2019

Museum of the Western Prairie
Altus, Oklahoma
September–October, 2019

Sapulpa Historical Society
Sapulpa, Oklahoma
late February–early May, 2020

Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center
Enid, Oklahoma
late May–July, 2020

Mickey Mantle: Baseball Hero in Black and White

In the 1950s, increased television viewing and media coverage combined with his athleticism helped to propel Mickey Mantle into a superstar, often compared to Babe Ruth. The Oklahoma native known as the “Commerce Comet” exemplified the spirit of a hero through his determination, perseverance, and courage. The Daily Oklahoman extensively covered Mantle throughout his career and life. Oklahomans and baby boomers across the nation were captivated by his talent and sportsmanship. This exhibit explores his life through black and white photographs seen in newsprint and uses the original reporters’ captions to highlight this Baseball Hall of Famer’s milestones.

On Exhibit

General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute and Museum
Hobart, Oklahoma
June–July, 2019

Oklahoma Sports

This exciting traveling exhibit provides a window into the history and culture of Oklahoma sports. Many people take pride in the successes of our major colleges and the Oklahoma City Thunder, while every some communities live and die with their local high school football and basketball teams. Homegrown athletes who achieved national and international success such as Mickey Mantle, Shannon Miller, Jim Thorpe, and Johnny Bench are treated as Oklahoma royalty. From the warrior tradition of American Indians to the pioneering spirit of men and women who made the land run, Oklahoma's history is packed with competitors.

On Exhibit

Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
May 28–July, 2019

Photographing the Plains: Farm Security Administration, 1935–1945

The Farm Security Administration (FSA) began in 1937 as the successor to the Resettlement Administration (RA), which was formed in 1935 as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal program. Roy Stryker was hired in 1935 to head the Historical Section, also known as the Information Division. He established a documentary project to provide photographs to public relations outlets including newspapers and magazines.

The photographs in this exhibit are a sample of images by six photographers who visited Oklahoma or photographed displaced Oklahomans looking for work. The photographers are Jack Delano, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, Arthur Rothstein, John Vachon, and Marion Post Wolcott. 

On Exhibit

Chisholm Trail Museum
Kingfisher, Oklahoma
mid-January–early June, 2020

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! The Origin of Modern Musical Theatre

Seventy-five years after Rodgers and Hammerstein adapted Green Grow the Lilacs into Oklahoma!, the duo’s first collaboration remains one of their most celebrated productions. Often considered the first modern musical, Oklahoma! reshaped the Broadway landscape and gave the state of Oklahoma national recognition, pride, and a song that continues to resonate worldwide.

On Exhibit

Museum of the Western Prairie
Altus, Oklahoma
June–July, 2019

Smoke Over Oklahoma: The Railroad Photographs of Preston George

This collection of images represents the railroad photographs taken by Preston George during the 1930s and 1940s. George photographed trains in his spare time while working as a civil engineer in Colorado and Oklahoma. Born in 1906 in Indian Territory, George's interest in trains began at an early age, but did not culminate into a full-fledged pastime until the 1930s when he said, “I ran across a copy of Railroad Stories, later renamed Railroad Magazine, and saw the many photos of locomotives and trains. This started me on a new hobby...Soon, I was snapping still pictures of locomotives with a cheap Kodak camera and trading them far and wide with other fans.”

On Exhibit

Homestead National Monument of America, National Park Service
Beatrice, Nebraska
July–November, 2019

Sand Springs Cultural and Historical Museum
Sand Springs, Oklahoma
mid-January through mid-March, 2021

Thirteen All-Black Towns of Oklahoma

This smaller version of the All-Black Towns of Oklahoma exhibit highlights the thirteen towns that are still incorporated today. E. P. McCabe came to Oklahoma in the 1889 Land Run, he said, “to get away from the associations that cluster about us in the Southern states. We wish to remove from the disgraceful surroundings that so degrade my people, and in the new territory of Oklahoma show the people of the United States and of the world that we are not only loyal citizens, but we are capable of advancement.” The vision was to create an All-Black state. Although that never materialized, McCabe and others succeeded in establishing All-Black towns.

On Exhibit

Vinnie Ream Cultural Center
Vinita, Oklahoma
Mid-January to mid-March, 2020




Bring These and Other Exhibits to Your Community

The Oklahoma History Center offers several traveling exhibits on a variety of topics.

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