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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.

Early Oklahoma: Black Hope/Black Dreams

Early Oklahoma: Black Hope/Black Dreams features the accomplishments of three individuals who had a vision for greater opportunity and equality for themselves and others. Edward (Edwin) Preston McCabe arrived in Oklahoma Territory in 1889. He was experienced in finance, law, land development, and politics. McCabe sought a place where African Americans could establish their own towns similar to other groups of Americans. Roscoe Dunjee was a newspaperman, activist, humanitarian, and a man of extraordinary conviction and legendary accomplishment. Founded in 1915, Dunjee’s newspaper was titled the Black Dispatch. Dunjee also took aim at the legal system and the issues, incidents, and laws that deprived African Americans of their rights of citizenship and human dignity. Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher was the first African American admitted to the University of Oklahoma Law School on June 18, 1949, and the first to graduate in August 1951. Through her, African Americans succeeded in challenging the separate but equal doctrine as it applied to educational opportunities.

On Exhibit
Stillwater History Museum at Sheerar
Stillwater, Oklahoma
February through May 2021

“Where They Went”: A Photographic History of Oklahoma Animals

The exhibit “Where They Went”: A Photographic History of Oklahoma Animals features photos curated from the Oklahoma Historical Society’s Photograph Archives. The images in this exhibit represent just a few of our many images that express the friendly relationship between humans and their domestic and farm animals throughout Oklahoma’s history.  

Funding for this exhibit was provided by the Kirkpatrick Foundation.

On Exhibit
Edmond Historical Society
Edmond, Oklahoma
April through June 2021

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
Pioneer Townsite Museum
Frederick, Oklahoma
late March through early June 2021

Catoosa Historical Society Museum
Catoosa, Oklahoma
early June through early August 2021

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

Jim Lucas Checotah Public Library
Checotah, Oklahoma
mid-November 2021 to early January 2022

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.

Fort Gibson Historic Site
Fort Gibson, Oklahoma
June 2021

On Exhibit
Black Caucus of the American Library Association National Conference of African American Librarians
Tulsa, Oklahoma
July 28 to August 1, 2021

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
Pawnee Bill Ranch and Museum
Pawnee, Oklahoma
April 23 through June 23, 2021

Pioneer Townsite Museum
Frederick, Oklahoma
late August 2020 through early November 2021

Cherokee Nation: A Portrait of a People

This exhibit presents fifty-five portraits of individuals, couples, and families by noted Oklahoma photographer and artist David Fitzgerald. The strikingly clear and visually rich photographs allow the viewer insight into elements in the broad spectrum of Cherokee life in Oklahoma today. Several of the individuals in these portraits are elders who have been named a Living National Treasure/Master Craftsperson. Whether the photographs depict settings associated with traditional practices or contemporary occupations, Fitzgerald’s images convey his respect and affinity for the people in this project.

Fort Gibson Historic Site
Fort Gibson, Oklahoma
September through November 2021

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