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

The Oklahoma History Center is honored to announce the opening of a photographic exhibit entitled “Where They Went”: A Photographic History of Oklahoma Animals. The title is extracted from a Will Rogers quote: “If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” The exhibit is comprised of twenty-six black-and-white images. It may be viewed in the Cooper and Gladys West Atrium Wing during regular hours of operation, Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Since prehistory, animals have emerged and disappeared on the prairie that eventually became Oklahoma—sometimes naturally, and sometimes through the actions of humans. Bison, jackrabbits, and antelopes naturally migrated to this land, drawn by the climate, and began to adapt to the evolving conditions over time. Plains Indians acquired horses from New Mexican tribes whose horses were brought by Spanish colonists. When other tribes were relocated to Indian Territory throughout the 1800s, they brought with them cows, sheep, pigs, and other livestock. At the opening of Oklahoma Territory, whites brought with them not only livestock but also domesticated pets.

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 photographs that visually express the friendly relationship between humans and animals throughout Oklahoma’s history.

“Where They Went”: A Photographic History of Oklahoma Animals has been made possible through the generous support of the Kirkpatrick Foundation as a prelude to a triennial conference hosted by that group. The ANIMAL 2018 Conference of Ideas, Impact, and Inspiration will be held on October 22 and 23, 2018, at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City. According to its website, this conference is a key to achieving the Kirkpatrick Foundation’s Safe & Humane mission to make Oklahoma the safest and most humane place to be an animal by 2032. For more information on this conference and its mission, visit www.theanimalconference.com.

ANIMAL Conference Kirkpatrick Foundation

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