The Oklahoma State University Museum of Art today packed 55 pieces from the Oklahoma State Senate art collection for transportation to the University’s new Postal Plaza Gallery in downtown Stillwater. The paintings will be featured in the University’s upcoming exhibition entitled Framing History: Highlights from the Oklahoma State Capitol Senate Collection.
The 15,000 square foot gallery is Oklahoma State University’s first dedicated museum facility. The public exhibition will run from July 7, 2014, to Oct. 25, 2014.
Victoria Rowe Berry, Director of the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art, said the collection represents a celebration of what Oklahomans should be proud of.
“What I thought was quite remarkable, and an opportunity for us to celebrate, is that it captures the history of the state,” she said. “It’s a really wonderful way to introduce our community to what museums can do.”
Representatives of the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art and the University of Oklahoma’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art joined to professionally pack each painting. Each piece needed to be wrapped with a special product to protect the delicate gold leaf frames. Berry noted the frames themselves, as the name of the exhibit suggests, play a central role in building the narrative of the collection.
“It’s a really a great opportunity to explore how many different ways you can tell a story,” she said. “In some cases, they are antique frames, which really set the stage for that piece to actually impress you as if it has been around for a very long time. It’s really fun to look at it through the artist’s eyes.”
Berry is co-curating the exhibit with Sen. Charles Ford, founder and president of the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund, Inc., an organization that has raised private funds to commission 156 works by Oklahoma artists for display at the state Capitol. All 15 artists featured in the Oklahoma State University exhibit are Oklahoma natives.
The University is producing a catalogue of the exhibition that will feature forewords by Gov. Mary Fallin and University President Burns Hargis.
Until the paintings are returned to the Capitol on Nov. 12, 2014, the location of each piece will be marked with a label bearing an image of the work and a brief explanation of its temporary relocation.