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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.

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
Dobson Museum
Miami, Oklahoma
June through September 2023

“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
Pawnee Bill Ranch and Museum
Pawnee, Oklahoma
August through October 2023

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
Sand Springs Cultural and Historical Museum
Sand Springs, Oklahoma
September through November 2023

Exploring Oklahoma’s Latino(a) History

The presence of the Latino(a) community has been felt in Oklahoma since the early days of Spanish exploration in the New World. Originally, the Spanish laid claim to parts of modern-day Oklahoma after the expeditions of Francisco Vázquez de Coronado in 1541 and Juan de Oñate in 1601. The Spanish claim on Oklahoma, which was passed on to Mexico, would last for more than three hundred years. France later claimed a portion as its own territory after Sieur de La Salle ventured west in 1682. With the Adams-Onís Treaty in 1819, the United States gained control of all lands in present Oklahoma except for the Panhandle, which the Republic of Mexico did not cede until the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848.

In Oklahoma, Spanish explorers briefly mixed with Indigenous tribes in the early days of exploration. Later, some Spanish settlers from Mexico were brought to Oklahoma as captives of various tribes, while other settlers hired tribal members to work on ranches across northern areas of Mexican territory. With the formation of the Great Spanish Road, the earliest recorded trail to the Red River, Oklahoma became commercially linked to Mexico, creating an intermixing of goods, cultures, and peoples.

Much of Oklahoma’s Latino(a) population, historically speaking, is of Mexican ancestry. Through the 1960s, Oklahoma’s Latino(a) communities were composed almost exclusively of immigrants from Mexico, ranging from those who fled during the Mexican Revolution, to families that joined their migrant worker relatives in the state and and settled here permanently.

On Exhibit
Murray State College
Tishomingo, Oklahoma
Last two weeks in September

Murray State College
Ardmore, Oklahoma
First two weeks in October

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
Trinity Woods Tulsa
Tulsa, Oklahoma
November 2023

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
February through March 2024

Of Influence: Portraits of Cherokee People

Ranging from 1845 to the 1960s, this portrait collection presents people of influence in the Cherokee tribe. From Cherokee leader and Confederate Colonel William Penn Adair to photographer Jennie Ross Cobb, these photographs illuminate Cherokee individuals and their roles within their tribe and communities. Many images in this exhibit show the actual size of the original photograph alongside an enlarged version.

On Exhibit
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
October through November 2023

Red Earth Inc.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
May through July 2024

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
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
January through February 2024

Wanted: Dead or Alive

This photography exhibit features images of some of Oklahoma’s most infamous criminals. Images from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the University of Oklahoma Western History Collections, the National Archives, and the Oklahoma Historical Society include 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
Park City Museum
Park City, Utah
August through September 2024

Bring Oklahoma History Center Exhibits to Your Community

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

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