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Greater Tulsa Reporter


City of Tulsa Celebrates Gilcrease, TU Partnership

From Tulsa's Mayor By G.T. BYNUM
Mayor of Tulsa

HELMERICH CENTER FOR AMERICAN RESEARCH: The University of Tulsa’s Helmerich Center for American Research houses the Gilcrease Library and Archive, containing more than 100,000 rare books, documents, maps and unpublished works.


Courtesy The University of Tulsa


Nearly a decade has passed since the City of Tulsa partnered with the University of Tulsa to preserve and advance the Gilcrease Museum. Gilcrease, a proud member of the City of Tulsa family, is one of our national treasures that generations of Tulsans are pleased to call their own. In just a couple of months, we will celebrate our historic partnership.

Since July 2008, TU has served as the steward of the museum and its collections. It has dedicated its efforts toward streamlining museum operations and leveraging its nationally recognized academic expertise in western American history, art history, anthropology, and archaeology. I applaud TU for its work throughout the years to make Gilcrease a destination place for art lovers around the country.

With the overwhelming passage of Vision Tulsa in 2016 by Tulsa voters, Gilcrease secured $65 million in funding to enhance the museum along with $27 million to support and sustain museum operations. Gilcrease, one of Tulsa’s crown jewels, houses the greatest collection of Western art in the world, and the museum will greatly benefit from a massive enhancement of its facility.

The plan to transform Gilcrease Museum is in the early stages. We have brought in Gallagher & Associates, a nationally known museum planning and design firm, to re-envision and enhance the visitors’ experience at the museum. We want to make Gilcrease a top destination in our great city where Tulsans and visitors alike will return, time after time.

In 2014, Gilcrease added the Helmerich Center for American Research to provide a secure archival area for researchers to access more than 10,000 books, documents, maps and unpublished materials. One of the most exciting things for me includes the latest addition to its collection: the Bob Dylan Archive, one of the most anticipated opportunities for the study of American music in the history of our country. The Bob Dylan Center is set to open to tourists in 2019 and features a massive trove of artifacts, including 84,000 audio, video, film, and photography files from the folk singer-songwriter’s career.

I’m grateful for TU’s amazing oversight of this treasured museum and want to thank the following Founders Council for their commitments to the museum: The Mervin Bovaird Foundation; H.A. & Mary K. Chapman Charitable Trust; The Helmerich Trust; George Kaiser Family Foundation; The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation; and The Maxine and Jack Zarrow Family Foundation.

In the meantime, I invite you to discover all of the art works and wonders on display at Gilcrease in an upcoming family outing. Visit Gilcrease online – www.gilcrease.org – for information on its hours and admission.

Updated 05-22-2018

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