Marcia Manhart (1943-2020) was a beloved and long-tenured director of Philbrook, serving the institution for 40 years before retiring in 2003. Before her passing in March of 2020, The Judith and Jean Pape Adams Foundation created an endowment supporting a new curatorial position in her honor. Susan Green, most recently Philbrook’s Associate Curator of Special Collections, Archives, and Research, is the inaugural Marcia Manhart Endowed Associate Curator of Contemporary Art & Design.
“We are honored to recognize and celebrate the legacy of long-time Philbrook Director Marcia Manhart through the support of this new, and critically important curatorial position,” said Philbrook President and CEO Scott Stulen. “Susan Green’s deep knowledge and reverence of Philbrook’s history, love of our local arts community and passion for learning perfectly embodies Marcia’s spirit and the belief in the transformative power of art.”
This exciting and focus-expanding position is dedicated to building engagement with and support for the local and regional artist community. In this capacity, Green will regularly rethink and reinstall permanent collection galleries along with developing interpretive materials related to contemporary art and design.
“I grew up in Tulsa. Visiting Philbrook was always a greatly anticipated pleasure,” she says. “Even then, without understanding what it really meant, I knew that Marcia Manhart ran Philbrook. I understood that a strong and creative woman was in charge, and her passion and vision made Philbrook the place that was so incredibly special. Her legacy of devotion to our community, to the arts, and to Philbrook continues today. It is an extraordinary privilege to hold a position named in her honor.”
Green’s first curatorial project working within this new capacity will be the special photography exhibition, Views of Greenwood (March 2021). This exhibition is one component of the Museum’s planned programing commemorating the centennial of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
“I had the pleasure and honor to serve as board chair of Philbrook during Marcia Manhart’s final year at the Museum,” said Roxana Lorton. “We were in the final stages of a $20 million fundraising campaign to complete major renovations of the gardens and villa along with raising funds for a three-year Exhibition Series. Marcia was such an intelligent person and talented-creative artist. Her passion in life was Philbrook. That passion made my job as chair one of the highlights of my life.”
About Philbrook Museum of Art
The Philbrook Museum of Art is committed to being Tulsa’s most welcoming and engaging cultural institution. Through bold action and strategic investment, Philbrook creates a space for new ideas, diverse stories and perspectives, and social connection. Housed in the former midtown home (built 1927) of Genevieve and Waite Phillips, the Philbrook collection has grown to over 14,500 objects with a focus on American, Native American, and European art. Philbrook Museum of Art opened on October 25, 1939, with the goal of being an institution “housing, preserving, and displaying therein works of art, literature, relics and curios, including those representative of the native North American Peoples.” Serving over 160,000 visitors annually, Philbrook shines a light on Tulsa’s storied and complex past while building a diverse and creative vision of the city’s future.