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Oklahoma History Center Traveling Exhibits

Oklahoma History Center traveling exhibits bring Oklahoma history and culture to communities across the state and country. Please contact the venue listed for more information.

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

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 through early June 2020

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. Some of the exhibit is 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
Sapulpa Historical Society
Sapulpa, Oklahoma
late February through early May 2020

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

Deep Deuce & Beyond: A Photographic Exhibition Exploring the Architectural Legacy of African Americans in Oklahoma City

This exhibition, featuring the photography of native Oklahoman Ron Tarver, explores the legacy of Deep Deuce through its architecture. From the grand historical edifice of Calvary Baptist Church to the clapboard frame of the Open Hand Mission, the images evoke the essence of the area, and the people who created it. Akin to Harlem of the 1930s, Deep Deuce featured such legendary figures as jazz guitarist Charlie Christian, “blues shouter” Jimmy Rushing, and was the home of internationally-acclaimed writer Ralph Ellison. Deep Deuce attracted African-American professionals of every stripe—Roscoe Dunjee, Dr. Frederick Douglas Moon, Mrs. Lucy Tucker, Dr. William Lewis Haywood, Mary and Sydney Lyons. These doctors, educators, entrepreneurs, and activists came together, creating a critical mass that transformed 2nd Street and the surrounding neighborhood into a thriving corridor of Oklahoma City.

On Exhibit
Museum of the Great Plains
Lawton, Oklahoma
February 8 through June 2020

Wanted: Dead or Alive

Images 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 are included in this exhibit. These black-and-white images 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.

On Exhibit
Museum of the Western Prairie
Altus, Oklahoma
late March through May 2020

Chisholm Trail Museum
Kingfisher, Oklahoma
September through November 2020

Dobson Museum
Miami, Oklahoma
early January through early March 2021

Sand Springs Cultural & Historical Museum
Sand Springs, Oklahoma
late August through early November 2021

Women of Oklahoma

This exhibit highlights women who made history in Oklahoma and across the nation. Visitors will gain a new perspective on how women from Oklahoma have contributed to business, politics, activism, education, and other areas. Included are Hannah Atkins, Clara Luper, Elizabeth Maria Tallchief, and Edith Kinney Gaylord, to name a few.

On Exhibit
Dobson Museum
Miami, Oklahoma
early April through early June 2020

Tulsa Community College
Tulsa, Oklahoma
August 2020

Votes for Women: 100 Years of Women's Suffrage

November 5, 2018, marked 100 years of the women’s right to vote in Oklahoma. Oklahoma became the twenty-first state to grant suffrage to women by a vote of 106,909 to 81,481. This exhibit explores a history of women since 1890 who were among the first in Oklahoma Territory to lobby for the right to vote. It started with the Woman's Christian Temperance Union who wanted a voice in school elections. The grassroots efforts grew in 1895 when Laura A. Gregg, a National American Woman Suffrage Association leader, came to Oklahoma to push for a universal right to vote.

On Exhibit
Dobson Museum
Miami, Oklahoma
early April through early June 2020

Tulsa Community College
Tulsa, Oklahoma
August 2020

Sand Springs Cultural & Historical Museum
Sand Springs, Oklahoma
September through October 2020

All-Black Towns of Oklahoma

Shortly after the 1889 Land Run opened the Oklahoma Territory to settlement, black leaders hoped to make the newly-opened lands a home for oppressed African Americans throughout the United States. Oklahoma was promoted as the land where African Americans could come for the dream of self-government. As many as fifty communities arose where only African Americans lived and governed themselves. Even though “Jim Crow” became the law of the land after statehood, All-Black towns survived and continue to thrive in modern Oklahoma.

On Exhibit
Black Caucus of the American Library Association National Conference of African American Librarians
Atlanta, Georgia
August 2020

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
Dobson Museum
Miami, Oklahoma
late August through early November 2020

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

Fundamentals for Preservation of Oklahoma’s Archeological and Historic Properties

On October 15, 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Historic Preservation Act into law. It and its amendments established the structure and mechanisms for treatment of the nation’s archeological and historic properties, including the creation of the National Register of Historic Places, authorization of the Historic Preservation Fund, and provision for State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPO). Oklahoma’s SHPO is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society. This exhibit features photographs of twenty-nine of the state’s historic properties and highlights the important work of the State Historic Preservation Office.

On Exhibit
Dobson Museum
Miami, Oklahoma
late May through early August 2021




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