Beautiful Beasts: The Unseen Life of Oklahoma Spiders and Insects
September 25, 2021 – January 30, 2022
Imagine traveling on safari through a land of bizarre and alien beasts, a world of predators and prey. Who would think that this place exists right outside your back door? Oklahoma photographer Thomas Shahan will take you there. Using homemade equipment and inexpensive lenses, he captures a remarkable world of unspeakable beauty and hidden presence. His fantastical large-scale images of mid-western spiders and insects have been featured in Weekly Reader, National Geographic, Wired Magazine, and Popular Photography.
The exhibit presents a series of Shahan’s immense color photographs alongside descriptions of where and how the photographs were made. The exhibit chronicles the photographer’s tireless search for arthropods, a venture that has made him into an outspoken advocate for education about the role they play in our lives. Shahan’s up-close views of Oklahoma spiders and insects promise to forever change how visitors think and feel about these creatures.
Guatemalan Textiles: Heart of the Maya World
September 14 – December 6, 2021
This exhibit, on display in the second-floor Higginbotham gallery, presents a spectacular selection of traditional clothing (traje, atz’yeqb’al) from the varied regions of Guatemala. In addition to the embroidered and brocaded traditional blouse (huipil) and skirt ensemble, textiles such as waist sashes, shawls and headwraps will also be on display. These textiles are handwoven using different types of artisanal looms. The exhibit will also be trilingual in English, Spanish and K’iche’, a native language of Guatemala.
All of the outfits selected to be on display are a part of the Sam Noble Museum’s ethnology collection. Many of the outfits were originally donated from Texas A&M University and John C. Pitzer. This exhibition was produced in partnership with the Office of the Guatemalan Consulate General in Oklahoma City.
In the Dark
May 29 – September 12, 2021
Darkness may elevate excitement, inspire curiosity, or cause hesitation, but rarely can it be ignored. Darkness challenges animals and plants to adapt to life without light because they still need to find food, find mates and avoid predators, whether in caves, the deep sea or even a forest at night. Since prehistoric times, humans have sought to understand darkness and its mysteries, and have learned from these nocturnal creatures to create new technologies to disperse the dark and kindle light. Explore this hands-on exhibit and investigate and solve some of these mysteries using interactive stations, walk-through dioramas, models and engaging explanatory panels.
Darkness beckons exploration; prepare to discover what’s In the Dark!
Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice™
January 30 – May 16, 2021
Long before the Midwest was populated by corn fields and cows, dinosaurs roamed the land. A brand-new exhibit created by Minnesota Children’s Museum will allow children and adults to explore dinosaur habitats to better understand how these mysterious animals lived and use inquiry skills to examine what they left behind. The exhibit is bilingual in both English and Spanish, and is aimed towards children ages 3 to 10.
Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice™, opening, Jan. 30 at the Sam Noble Museum at the University of Oklahoma, transports families back to the Cretaceous Period (145 – 65 million years ago), the time when large dinosaurs last roamed the earth.
Children will go face-to-face with the prehistoric world and meet dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes inside two distinct environments with a variety of activities.
Places of Power: Painted Photographs of Sacred Landscapes by Corson Hirschfeld
January 6 – May 2, 2021
The exhibit will be displayed in the museum’s second-floor Higginbotham gallery, and features breathtaking, hand-painted photographs of ancient, sacred spaces including cultural and archaeological sites, cultural landscapes and petroglyphs from over 20 different countries.
Hirschfeld came to Norman in 2006 to be with his wife, Tassie Hirschfeld, who is a professor in the Department of Anthropology in the University of Oklahoma College of Arts and Sciences. In his earlier days, he was a herpetologist studying reptiles and amphibians, and he also had a long career as a studio photographer in Cincinnati before moving to Norman. His creative talents included writing, and he published three suspense novels before moving to Norman.
Facing the Inferno, the Wildfire Photography of Kari Greer
November 21, 2020 – January 17, 2021
Kari Greer, a former firefighter, specializes in wildland fire photography and editorial photojournalism. She has unprecedented access to aerial operations and accompanies fire crews working side-by-side on attack lines throughout the Western fire season. Her work examines the heightened fire activity seen across the West at a time when people are traveling further into the woods and the land surrounding wildfires is increasingly contested.
The traveling exhibit comes from the Pritchard Art Gallery at the University of Idaho and is a collaboration with the University of Idaho Forest, Rangeland and Fire Science program. It will be on display at the Sam Noble Museum through Jan. 17. It is funded in part through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and funding from the Idaho Commission on the Arts. Additional contributors to the project include Metal and Paper, the Forest Fire Lookout Association and the Northern Rockies Fire Science Network.
Permian Monsters: Life Before Dinosaurs
August 4 – November 8, 2020
Step back 290 million years to a time when bizarre creatures dominated life on land and sea. Learn about these extraordinary creatures and how 90% of all life vanished in the largest extinction event of all time.
The Permian Period ended millions of years before dinosaurs evolved. This unique traveling exhibition brings the past back to life with vivid artwork and scientifically accurate 3-D sculptures that augment an amazing collection of fossils on view.
A New Moon Rises
Dec. 21, 2019 – March 15, 2020
The Moon is not in the same place as when astronauts last stepped foot on it. A New Moon Rises features amazing, large-scale, high-resolution photographs of the lunar surface taken between 2009 and 2015 by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC). These images provide unique visual data to help answer our questions about the Moon’s formation, its continuing geological evolution, and its relationship to Earth and the solar system.
A New Moon Rises will include over 50 photographs, three videos, one interactive, and files to produce seven additional images, five 3-D models of craters, labels and environmental wall vinyl. Displayed at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in 2016, the exhibition was organized by the museum and the LROC team at Arizona State University.
A Giving Heritage: Wedding Clothes and the Osage Community
Sept. 14 – Dec. 8, 2019
“A Giving Heritage” explores the history of bridal attire among the Osage, a Native American community centered in northeastern Oklahoma. The exhibition features the beautiful wedding coats and hats that have a special place among the Osage people. Military jackets and top hats, originally used as gifts from the U.S. Government for Osage chiefs and leaders, were repurposed as the bridal attire worn in a traditional Osage wedding.
As traditional Osage weddings ceased to be held in the 1930s, these special wedding clothes were incorporated into the Ilonshka—the Osage form of the Plains Grass Dance. Bridal coats and hats were used in the “paying for the drum” ceremony of the Ilonshka. The wedding clothes symbolize the transfer of leadership in the dance and celebrate the virtues of hospitality and generosity.
“Under the Arctic: Digging into Permafrost”
May 25 through Sept. 2, 2019
Have you ever seen a mammoth tooth up close? What does the Ice Age smell like? Step into the shoes of climate science researchers, piece together clues and solve engineering challenges posed by thawing permafrost in our newest temporary exhibit, Under the Arctic: Digging into Permafrost. This interactive exhibit weaves together real narratives from people whose lives have been impacted by the changing global climate, highlighting the resiliency and ingenuity of everyday communities. Incorporating the sights and smells of the Western Hemisphere’s only permafrost research tunnel and Ice Age fossils, this exhibit is an immersive experience for all ages.
“Winged Tapestries: Moths at Large”
Jan 26 through May 12, 2019
Enter a beautiful world of wings with the newest temporary exhibit, Winged Tapestries: Moths at Large. The exhibit showcases over 40 large-format prints of various species of moths. Each print originated from a photograph of a moth specimen, taken by Ottowa photographer Jim des Rivières. Enlarged at a high resolution, each print allows visitors to view all the delicate details of a moth in a way rarely seen before.
In addition to the prints, the exhibit also has a display of moth specimens dedicated to the species that are native to Oklahoma. Approximately 29 of the moth species featured in the exhibit are native to Oklahoma, and at least 14 of the 29 species are local to Norman. View the moths of Oklahoma.
Winged Tapestries: Moths at Large, featuring the art of Jim des Rivières, is produced by the Canadian Museum of Nature.
“Megalodon: Largest Shark that Ever Lived”
May 26 through Jan 6, 2019
At 60 feet long, Megalodon was the largest shark that ever lived and a dominant marine predator. Though Megalodon vanished 2 million years ago, its fascinating story inspires lessons for science and shark conservation. This exciting new national traveling exhibit, “Megalodon: Largest Shark that Ever Lived,” will be on display from May 26 through Jan. 6. The exhibit features a 60-footlong walk-through sculpture and highlights the evolution, biology and misconceptions regarding giant prehistoric sharks.
The exhibition showcases both fossil and modern shark specimens as well as full-scale models from several collections. Visitors enter a full-size sculpture of Megalodon through massive jaws and discover this shark’s history and the world it inhabited, including its size, structure, diet, lifespan, relatives, neighbors, evolution and extinction. “Megalodon: Largest Shark that Ever Lived” also provides details on improving the health of our oceans and survival of threatened species.
“Megalodon: Largest Shark that Ever Lived” was produced by the Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, with support from the National Science Foundation. The exhibit is sponsored by Fowler Honda.
“Attack Along the Washita”
Nov 15 through Dec 15, 2018
This special exhibition is in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the 7th Cavalry’s attack on Black Kettles encampment. The exhibition features a Southern Cheyenne ledger book that contains drawings by an unknown Cheyenne artist that recorded important events in the history of the Cheyenne people. The page displayed will feature an image of Chief Roman Nose Thunder as he counts coup (war honors) on soldiers from Major Elliot’s detachment from the 7th Cavalry. A National Parks Service ranger will be present from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 to interact with visitors and discuss the history of the 7th Cavalry in Oklahoma.
“Putting Baskets to Work in Southwest China”
June 9 through Aug. 12, 2018
The photographs and baskets featured in this exhibit were gathered between 2013 and 2015 in Yunnan, Guangxi, and Guizhou provinces. They were collected among the Bai, Bouyei, Miao, Dong, and Yao people. These groups are just a few of the ethnic groups found in China’s southwestern provinces. Putting Baskets to Work in Southwest China was produced and loaned to the Sam Noble Museum by the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, Indiana University.
“Fluent Generations: The Art of Anita, Tom & Yatika Fields”
Jan. 20 through May 6, 2018
A family of accomplished Native artists showcases their works of photography, ceramics and paintings that celebrate the vitality of Indigenous cultures. Anita Fields (Osage), along with husband Tom Fields (Muscogee) and son Yatika Starr Fields (Cherokee, Creek, Osage) come together for the first time ever to illustrate their creativity and passion under one roof, with works that bring their cultural heritage to life inside the Sam Noble Museum.
“Fluent Generations” features a number of never-before-seen pieces of artwork as well as loans from the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, Oklahoma State University Museum of Art, the Arkansas Heritage Museum, private collections and the artists’ own collections. Museum visitors will get the opportunity to not only develop a keen appreciation for the work of the Fields family, but a deeper appreciation for the impact of family — a building block of all cultures and communities around the world.
“Celestial Siblings: Parallel Landscapes of Earth and Mars”
Jan. 27 through April 29, 2018
Internationally known astronomer and fine art photographer Stephen Strom has combined his two talents to create “Celestial Siblings: Parallel Landscapes of Earth and Mars.” The images in this intriguing exhibition reveal hauntingly similar patterns on Earth and our planetary neighbor: at once simple and profoundly beautiful forms that result from the action of universal physical processes on vastly different spatial scales and terrestrial surfaces.
The exhibition is arranged in four segments that reflect the roles of each of the Aristotelian elements in shaping the surfaces of Earth and Mars: air, earth, fire and water. Terrestrial images drawn from Strom’s landscape interpretations are paired with Martian photographs selected from long strip maps taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. This exhibition has been organized by Stephen Strom and is circulated through GuestCurator Traveling Exhibitions.
“Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness”
Dec. 7 through Jan. 17, 2018
This traveling exhibit explores the interconnectedness of wellness, illness and cultural life for Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians.
The exhibition was developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and was displayed from 2011 to 2015 at the Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland. Through a partnership with the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, the exhibition is touring across the country to public libraries, academic libraries, tribal libraries, tribal college libraries and special libraries.
Sept. 23 through Dec. 31, 2017
Explore the evolution of life and learn all about Earth’s organisms, from rapidly evolving viruses to whales that walked. Consider seven interpretive areas focusing on cutting-edge scientific research illustrating how the evolutionary principles of variation, inheritance, selection and time are at work in different organisms.
How does one species of fruit fly turn into 800? How can environmental changes and differing food supply cause finches’ bills to change size and shape? Spearheaded by the University of Nebraska State Museum and funded by the National Science Foundation, this exhibit was created by the Sam Noble Museum as part of a consortium of six museums across the country.
This exhibit is sponsored by Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores.
“Comets, Asteroids, Meteors: Great Balls of Fire!”
May 20 through Sept. 10, 2017
The threat of a catastrophic impact from an asteroid or comet is a staple of popular culture. If there was a dinosaur killer in Earth’s past, is there a human killer in our future? What are the chances and how do we assess the risks? For that matter, what are asteroids, comets and meteorites, and where do they come from?
This exhibit was created by the Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning, with funding from the National Science Foundation and NASA.
“Ugly Bugs! Celebrating 20 years of the Oklahoma Microscopy Society’s Ugly Bug Contest”
Feb. 11 through Sept. 4, 2017
The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History and the Oklahoma Microscopy Society celebrate 20 years of the Oklahoma Ugly Bug contest with an exhibition of larger-than-life photos of insects, all captured by the contest’s 2016 winners.
Open to all Oklahoma elementary schools, the annual “ugly bug” competition is designed to get students interested in microscopy and entomology at a young age. The rules are simple: Each school can submit one bug — the uglier, the better — and a complete scientific description of the insect. Entries are processed at SEM labs across the state, including Oklahoma State University, Phillips 66 and the Samuel Roberts Noble Microscopy Laboratory on the University of Oklahoma campus, and imaged by a scanning electron microscope. The school with the winning entry, judged by a group of OMS members, receives a Leica stereomicroscope.
“This exhibit provides a great opportunity for kids to learn more about the world around them and do so on a much different scale than they’re used to,” said Katrina Menard, entomology curator at the Sam Noble Museum. “Visitors will be able to see the beauty of these bugs that they wouldn’t be able to see with the naked eye.”
“Roots of Wisdom: Native Knowledge. Shared Science.”
Jan. 28 through May 7, 2017
Overcoming environmental and cultural challenges can make for unexpected partnerships that result in extraordinary outcomes. With its newest exhibit, “Roots of Wisdom: Native Knowledge. Shared Science,” the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History shares the knowledge of native peoples and cutting-edge Western science, providing insight into how we can improve our relationship with the natural world.
“Roots of Wisdom” features stories from four indigenous communities, giving visitors real-life examples of how traditional knowledge and Western science together provide complementary solutions to ecological and health challenges we face today. Through the voices of elders and youth, engaging video interactives and hands-on games, visitors will gather resources, examine data and take part in the growing movement toward sustainability and the reclamation of age-old practices.
“Mystery of the Mayan Medallion”
Oct. 15, 2016, through Jan. 16, 2017
In this immersive exhibit, visitors are transported to Palenque, Mexico, where an archaeological team has mysteriously disappeared from a dig site while investigating rumors of a priceless jade medallion. They will follow the clues the team left behind to locate the precious medallion while avoiding the dangers lurking in the ruins. The exhibit includes archaeology, biology and astro-mathematic field stations, an observatory and a tomb area that yield clues to the medallion’s whereabouts. At these field stations and assorted sites, visitors must translate glyphs, discover which rainforest animals are poisonous, learn how the Maya recorded dates, take rubbings from a sarcophagus and interpret a battle mural to solve the mystery. Kids will love the hands-on components of this exhibit, but any museum visitor is likely to learn a great deal from it and possibly ignite a greater curiosity for archaeology and history. The Arkansas Discovery Network, a group of seven museums and educational centers that focuses on creating interactive museum experiences, developed the traveling exhibit in 2006.
“When the Earth Shakes”
Sept. 16, 2016, through Jan. 2, 2017
Learn all about the science of earthquakes, tsunamis and tectonic plates through When the Earth Shakes, an immersive interactive exhibit exploring the world below our feet. Watch how continents move and re-form as you spin the dial through geologic history, from 600 million years ago all the way to 200 million years in the future, and see where earthquakes happen all around the world on the seismic monitor that shows them in real time. Museum-goers will see fast-paced videos of engineers working to make our world safer as they use amazing tools and technology to test and improve building techniques and materials. In the “Puzzled Earth” display, visitors can see how quickly they can assemble a map of giant tectonic plates before the clock runs out and all the pieces fall. On the “Shake Table” platform, they can test their engineering skills by using blocks and reinforcing rods to design and build a model of an earthquake-safe building. Visitors can spin the dial, replay the impact in slow-motion, then improve the design. When the Earth Shakes is sponsored by NEES, the National Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation, a group of 14 university research facilities where engineers and scientists have tested buildings and structures with giant shake tables, centrifuges, a tsunami wave basin and other large-scale equipment. The exhibition was developed by Sciencenter in Ithaca, New York, with funding from the National Science Foundation and NEES.
July 2 through Sept. 25, 2016
The world’s largest snake stayed at the Sam Noble Museum! From a fossil bed deep within Colombia’s Cerrejón coal mine emerges Titanoboa, the largest snake ever found. This Paleocene reptile, from the epoch following the dinosaurs’ demise 60 million years ago, stretches our concept of what a snake can be. At 48 feet long and 2,900 lbs., Titanoboa was longer than a school bus and able to devour massive prehistoric crocodiles.This jaw-dropping exhibit will feature a full-scale model of Titanoboa and will explore its discovery, reconstruction and implications of the enormous, fearsome reptile.
“Be the Dinosaur”
March 5 through Sept. 5, 2016
A lifelike delight for the entire family, Be the Dinosaur features video game stations that require each player to decide — do they want to be an herbivore or a carnivore? The decision leads them on a virtual adventure for survival – deciding to eat the wrong plant or turning the wrong corner could spell the end of the game, which is set in an immersive recreation of the Cretaceous period, which took place over 65 million years ago. While Be the Dinosaur is heavy on video game magic, it comes with a strong dose of education as well. The world of Be the Dinosaur is one of the world’s most extensive restorations of an extinct ecosystem ever created and visitors are able to explore what the day in the life of a dinosaur may have actually been like. In addition to the game stations, the exhibit also features a paleontology field station and a Safari Jeep.
“Through the Eyes of the Lynx: Galileo and the Microscope”
Feb. 6 through Aug. 31, 2016
Through the Eyes of the Lynx is the second of two Galileo’s World exhibitions developed in collaboration with the University Libraries and the History of Science Collections. Galileo and the Academy of the Lynx, or Accademia dei Lincei, were responsible for the first published report of observations made with a microscope (Apiarium, 1625), as well as with the telescope. At the same time Galileo was making his telescopic discoveries, he was also experimenting with lenses to magnify the small. Another member of the Lincei, Johann Faber, named Galileo’s new instrument a microscope. In antiquity, the lynx was renowned for possessing sharp eyesight at night. The founder of the Lincei, Federigo Cesi, believed that the eyes of the Lincei would peer more deeply into the secrets of nature than ever before. The keen eyes of the Academy of the Lynx stretched the boundaries of European thought in the life sciences just as with Galileo’s discoveries in the physical sciences. This exhibition is in conjunction with Galileo’s World: A Exhibition without Walls, a series of exhibits, events, and programs at the Bizzell Memorial Library, Sam Noble Museum, National Weather Center, Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, Headington Hall, Robert M. Bird Health Sciences Library and OU-Tulsa Schusterman Library in celebration of OU’s 125th anniversary. Beginning Aug. 2015 and running through Aug. 2016, Galileo’s World illustrates connections between science, art, literature, music, religion, philosophy, politics and culture. View the Galileo’s World video here.
“Collision & Creation: Indigenous Arts of the Americas, 1890-2015”
Aug. 29 through Feb. 21, 2016
In celebration of the University of Oklahoma’s 125th anniversary, the Sam Noble Museum has developed Collision & Creation: Indigenous Arts of the Americas 1890-2015, an exhibit showcasing ethnographic arts created by Native peoples of the Americas between 1890 and 2015. Collision & Creation examines the conquest and colonization of the Western Hemisphere by Europeans beginning in the 1500s and the subsequent era of oppression of indigenous peoples. The harsh realities of European conquest fostered new forms of artistic expression and brought together a unique mixture of people, materials and ideas that influenced the history and future of indigenous arts. Some objects in Collision & Creation express traditional stability, while others directly result from the colonial exchange between Native peoples of the Americas and foreign nations. Europeans introduced new materials and tools that indigenous artists used to create innovative forms of art. Today, indigenous arts in the Americas reflect people’s efforts to balance traditions with contemporary community life.
“First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare”
Jan. 4 through Jan. 30, 2016
In honor of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 1616, First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare will be on exhibit beginning January 2016. First Folio!, organized by the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Library Association, will be opened to the most quoted line from Shakespeare and one of the most quoted lines in the world: “To be or not to be,” from Hamlet. Accompanying the rare book will be a multi-panel exhibition exploring the significance of Shakespeare, then and now, with additional digital content and interactive activities. During the exhibition, the University of Oklahoma, with the cooperation of the university’s medieval and early modern faculty, will present numerous public programs. Also on display in complement to the First Folio exhibition will be Shakespeare’s Second Folio (1632), held in the John and Mary Nichols Special Collections at Bizzell Memorial Library, as a part of the Galileo’s World exhibition celebrating the university’s 125th anniversary. First Folio’s exhibition in Oklahoma is a collaboration between the Sam Noble Museum and the University of Oklahoma English Department, College of Arts & Sciences’ Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies and University Libraries’ Special Collections. Click here for a full list of programs and events in conjunction with First Folio! Admission is complimentary to this exhibit only.
“Through the Eyes of the Lynx: Galileo, Natural History and the Americas”
Aug. 1 through Jan. 18, 2016
Through the Eyes of the Lynx is the first of two Galileo’s World exhibitions developed in collaboration with the University Libraries and the History of Science Collections. This exhibit showcases the written works of The Academy of the Lynx, one of the world’s earliest scientific societies, stretching Europeans’ understanding of the life sciences, and its most well-known member, Galileo Galilei, who brought his expertise in mathematics, engineering, literature, art and medicine, expanding the Lynx’s understanding of the physical sciences. Founded by an Italian aristocrat Federico Cesi in 1603, the Accademia dei Lincei (The Academy of the Lynx) published the research of Francisco Hernandez, the court physician to King Philip II, who traveled across the ocean to explore the Americas in the 1500s. His works described hundreds of plants and animals — and, perhaps most importantly, the medicinal and daily uses of each. This exhibition is in conjunction with Galileo’s World: A Exhibition without Walls, a series of exhibits, events, and programs at the Bizzell Memorial Library, Sam Noble Museum, National Weather Center, Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, Headington Hall, Robert M. Bird Health Sciences Library and OU-Tulsa Schusterman Library in celebration of OU’s 125th anniversary. Beginning Aug. 2015 and running through Aug. 2016, Galileo’s World illustrates connections between science, art, literature, music, religion, philosophy, politics and culture. View the Galileo’s World video here.
“A Forest Journey: How Trees Shape our World”
Jan. 17 through May 3, 2015
This rich and inviting interactive exhibit is inspired by the Harvard classic A Forest Journey: The Role of Wood in the Development of Civilization by science writer John Perlin. It sheds new light on the history of the use of wood throughout the world, on forest products (from paper to lifesaving pharmaceuticals) and on the relationship between forests and the green house effect. The exhibit is a journey through time from modern day trees to their prehistoric counterparts. From deforestation and erosion, to fuel and product uses, A Forest Journey illustrates the diversity of needs and effects trees have environmentally, socially, communally and economically. Exhibit sponsored by Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores.
“Harmless Hunter: The Wildlife Work of Charles M. Russell”
Jan. 31 through April 26, 2015
Paintings, sketches and sculptures from Charles M. Russell, one of the most popular and influential American wildlife artists of his time, are on display at the Sam Noble Museum. Organized by the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming in collaboration with the Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of Art of the American West, University of Oklahoma, this exhibit was curated by B. Byron Price, Director, Charles M. Russell Center and University of Oklahoma Press. Exhibit sponsored by Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores.
“Enriched: The Oklahoma City Zoo animals paint”
Feb. 16 through April 5, 2015
Painting provides the animals with new sights, smells and textures that enrich their lives. Their art also spreads a message of hope for animals in Oklahoma and around the world. Periodically, the painted canvases are sold so that the proceeds can be donated to designated animal conservation projects.
“RARE: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species”
Sept. 13 through Jan. 19, 2015
Well-known endangered species like bald eagles and sea turtles are showcased alongside more unfamiliar species including the Delhi Sands flower-loving fly and the Higgins eye mussel. In addition to highlighting those species most in danger, National Geographic’s RARE also celebrates endangered species making a comeback including the red wolf and the American alligator, which have both rebounded from the verge of extinction. The exhibition is based on Joel Sartore’s book by the same title, which, like the exhibition, organizes the featured species by number of living populations remaining. The project’s message was made particularly poignant when one of the featured animals, the Columbian Basin pygmy rabbit, went extinct while the book was being produced. The exhibition also examines the history, purpose and effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Exhibit sponsored by Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores. and a grant from the Norman Arts Council.
“Formed in Stone: The Natural Beauty of Fossils”
July 4 through Jan. 4, 2015
The Sam Noble Museum hosts the temporary photographic exhibit Formed in Stone: The Natural Beauty of Fossils featuring an array of dazzling geometric designs on fossils dating from 80 to 455 million years old. The exhibit includes digital photographs magnified up to 60 times to reveal the hidden surface of each fossilized microorganism. Accompanying the image gallery are 12 diverse physical specimens, eight of which are from Oklahoma.
The fossils in this exhibit belong to the museum’s invertebrate paleontology collection, which contains around 1 million specimens from across the globe. This collection represents the combined efforts of paleontologists from the Oklahoma Geological Survey and the University of Oklahoma School of Geology and Geophysics.
“Hungry Planet: What the World Eats”
May 3 through Aug. 31, 2014
Gain a global perspective on the food and the environment through spectacular photos from the award-winning book by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Alusio. Visitors will meet ten families from around the world photographed in their kitchens with one week’s worth of food. They will discover surprising similarities and differences in how each family produces, shops for, and prepares their food. Some foods show up on almost every family’s menu, while others are unique.
The exhibition provides a thought-provoking analysis of worldwide food consumption in a way that is entertaining and accessible. The 40 color photographs, depicting everything from American drive-thru fast food restaurants to open-air kitchens in Mali, document the sharp contrasts and universal aspects of this essential human pursuit.
“Ramp It Up! Skateboard Culture in Native America”
Feb. 8 through June 11, 2014
Skateboarding is one of the most popular sports on Indian reservations, inspiring and influencing American Indian and Native Hawaiian communities since the 1960s. “Ramp It Up,” sponsored by Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, features 20 skate decks, including examples from Native companies and contemporary artists, rare images and video of Native skaters. Highlights include a never-before-exhibited 1969 image taken by skateboarding icon C.R. Stecyk III of a skate deck depicting traditional Native imagery and 1973 home-movie footage of Zephyr surf team members Ricky and Jimmy Tavarez (Gabrielino-Tongva).
The exhibition features the work of visual artists Bunky Echo-Hawk (Yakama/Pawnee), Joe Yazzie (Navajo), Traci Rabbit (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma) and Dustinn Craig (White Mountain Apache/Navajo) and highlights young Native skaters such as 22-year-old Bryant Chapo (Navajo), 13-year-old Augustin Lerma and 10-year-old Armondo Lerma (Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians).
As skateboarding continues to rise in popularity in Indian Country, Native skaters and entrepreneurs have combined core lessons learned from the sport — strength, balance and tenacity — with traditional tribal iconography and contemporary art to engage Native youth in their history and culture. “Ramp It Up” examines the role of indigenous peoples in skateboarding culture, its roots in ancient Hawaiian surfing and the visionary achievements of contemporary Native skaters. Skateboarding combines demanding physical exertion, design, graphic art, filmmaking and music to produce a unique and dynamic culture. “Ramp It Up” illustrates how indigenous people and tribal communities have used skateboarding to express themselves and educate their youth.
“George M. Sutton: Exploring Art & Science”
Jan. 18 through April 20, 2014
When George Miksch Sutton arrived in Norman in the spring of 1952 to begin work at The University of Oklahoma, he was already an acclaimed artist, writer, explorer and teacher. His passionate interest in ornithology and the natural sciences had led him on several expeditions in the continental US as well as the Arctic north, Mexico and South America. By the time of his death in 1982, he had written 13 books, over 200 scientific journal articles and illustrated at least 18 books.
George M. Sutton: Exploring Art and Science features 75 watercolor paintings from George Miksch Sutton’s Mexico, Arctic and US expeditions. Also in the exhibit will be personal items from Dr. Sutton’s life and travels, including the watercolor paint box given to him by his mentor, Louis Agassiz Fuertes in 1916 when Sutton was 18. The paint box was treasured by Sutton and accompanied him on every major expedition.
The exhibit will also include rare video of Dr. Sutton speaking about his art and how he painted some works direct from life.
“The Art of Sport + Play Experience”
Oct. 19 through Jan. 26, 2014
Kevin Carroll’s first exhibition, The Art of Sport and Play, is a personal look at selected pieces of memorabilia gathered from Kevin’s travels around the world. The heart of the collection is a group of handcrafted balls created by children with found materials from their native lands. With a playful spirit, The Art of Sport and Play tells a story about the universal power of sport. Created for all ages, the exhibit shows that sport and play are common human denominators and equalizers. No matter where you go in the world sport and play is ever-present – we ALL PLAY + we ALL SPEAK BALL.
Acclaimed author of Rules of the Red Rubber Ball and What’s Your Red Rubber Ball?!, Carroll grew up in Philadelphia playing as many sports as he could find. He played whatever sport was in season – soccer, football, basketball, baseball – and the red rubber ball was always there. It became a powerful symbol of sport while he ran, chased, caught, kicked, bounced and threw balls. His passion for sports has led to a life of advancing sports and play as a vehicle for social change.
“Masterworks of Native American Art: Selections from the Fred and Enid Brown Collection”
Sept. 28 through Jan. 5, 2014
The Native American fine arts movement of the 20th century represents a recent chapter in a long history of artistic expression by the indigenous people of North America. For thousands of years the Native people of North America have created fantastic works of art in stone, ivory, metal, horn, shell, plant material, plaster and clay that were often embellished with pigments and painted designs.
This Masterworks exhibition presents a selection of Native American paintings and drawings created over the past 50 years, from ca. 1960-2010. The movement into a new century provides an opportunity to examine patterns of formal continuity and change in the artworks themselves, and the motivations, events and circumstances that inspire and guide their creation.
“Bob Kuhn: Drawing on Instinct”
June 1 through Sept. 8, 2013
Organized by the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and curated by Adam Harris, this retrospective exhibit focuses on a selection of masterpieces from Kuhn’s work, displaying the relationship between predator and prey. The exhibit includes drawings from Kuhn’s childhood sketches of animals at the Buffalo Zoo in New York as well as sketches and paintings of wildlife in North America and Africa from later in his artistic career.
The museum’s collection displays 155 sketches and paintings, selected from more than 5,000 studies, and exhibits a compilation of Kuhn’s artwork until his death in 2007. Some of the sketches tie directly to finished works of art in the exhibit, but many are included to be appreciated on their own merits. Seeing this material together gives visitors a sense of the artistic process behind Kuhn’s masterpieces.
“Beautiful Beasts: The Unseen life of Oklahoma Spiders and Insects”
Feb. 2 through Sept. 8, 2013
Oklahoma photographer Thomas Shahan will take you there. Beautiful Beasts presents a series of Shahan’s immense color macro photographs alongside descriptions of where and how the photographs were made. The exhibit chronicles the photographer’s tireless search for arthropods, a venture that has made him into an outspoken advocate for education about the role they play in our lives.
Shahan’s up-close views of Oklahoma spiders and insects promise to forever change how visitors think and feel about these creatures. Sponsored by a grant from the Norman Arts Council.
“Dancers & Deities: Kachinas from the James T. Bialac Native American Art Collection”
Sept. 21, 2012, through Jan. 6, 2013
Dancers and Deities features an amazing selection of Native American Kachina created by master artists from Hopi and Zuni Pueblos. As deities Kachinas are important figures in the cosmology and religion of the Pueblo people of the American Southwest.
As masked dancers Kachinas are central in the rituals and ceremonies conducted to insure the rain and fertility necessary for a bountiful harvest. As dancers Kachinas become highly symbolic representations of the deities. In recent times Kachina carvings have become treasured artworks that exhibit deep cultural significance and creative ability. The Bialac collection includes works by dozens of significant artists and dates between 1950-2010, representing the full development of this art form and its commercial appeal.
“Southwest Visions: Paintings from the James T. Bialac Native American Art Collection”
Oct. 5, 2012, through Jan. 6, 2013
Southwest Visions is built on centuries old traditions of painting on rock, earth and clay. Native artists from the Southwest region quickly adopted easel painting and developed a distinct style that helps to define contemporary Native American art. Including examples of the realistic style promoted by the Santa Fe Indian School in the 1930’s and later responses to its colonial roots and aspirations, this exhibit presents a comprehensive suite of Southwest Native American paintings than spans the development of this important genre of Native American painting.