Gilcrease Museum – Tulsa, OK
Gilcrease Museum, also known as the Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art, is a museum northwest of downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma housing the world's largest, most comprehensive collection of art of the American West, as well as a growing collection of art and artifacts from Central and South America. The museum is named for Thomas Gilcrease, an oilman and avid art collector, who began the collection. He deeded the collection, as well as the building and property, to the City of Tulsa in 1958.
Since July 1, 2008, Gilcrease Museum has been managed by a public-private partnership of the City of Tulsa and the University of Tulsa. The Helmerich Center for American Research at Gilcrease Museum was added in 2014 at a cost of $14 million to provide a secure archival area where researchers can access any of the more than 100,000 books, documents, maps, and unpublished materials that have been acquired by the museum.
Adjacent to the museum, the Helmerich Center for American Research houses the Gilcrease Library and Archive. The collection is comprised of manuscripts, photographs, maps, rare books, print portfolios and broadsides related to the history of the North American continent from the 15th – to 20th centuries. Beautiful gardens and grounds extend beyond the Gilcrease collections and exhibitions. Themed gardens are developed on 23 of the museum’s 460 acres, often using the Gilcrease collections as a guide.
In 2008, the City of Tulsa and The University of Tulsa entered into a historic partnership to preserve and advance Gilcrease Museum. In its new role as steward of the museum and its collections, TU is leveraging its nationally recognized academic expertise in western American history, art history, anthropology, and archaeology to propel Gilcrease into a new era.
Although the indefatigable collector did not live to see the countless other gifts, donations, and improvements that enabled his museum to grow and flourish into the new millennium, by every measure Thomas Gilcrease realized his long held desire to leave a mark on the world.
The museum that bears both his name and his spirit now, as during Gilcrease’s lifetime, houses the largest collection of Western American art ever assembled – and a fine art collection of more than 12,000 works. The Helmerich Center for American Research at Gilcrease Museum houses the vast archival collection acquired by Gilcrease, some 100,000 rare books, manuscripts and other archival material, much of it unique. Gilcrease Museum’s galleries and vaults display and store over a quarter million extraordinary artifacts related to the aboriginal people of the Americas.
Gilcrease Museum Mission Statement
Gilcrease Museum, through its collections, is dedicated to bringing art, history, and people together to research, discover, enjoy and understand the diverse heritage of the Americas.