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Philbrook brings art to urban Tulsa

The classic Philbrook Museum of Art has been a popular off-campus getaway spot, but with a second location now open in downtown Tulsa, there is more for local residents to do and see.

The Philbrook Downtown, which has recently been converted from an old warehouse, opened on June 14.

Though the two related museums share the same name, they both have distinct art styles. While the Philbrook Museum of Art offers classic and Native American art, as well as a massive garden to peruse, the Philbrook Downtown has a more modern vibe with its collection of abstract sculpture and contemporary art.

“Our main goal with the new satellite space is to expand the experience for our visitors.” said Online Communities Manager Jeff Martin.

Though seeming small outside, the downton gallery has two-story high ceilings and spacious floors.

The first floor is split into two sections: Native American art and modern art. The latter includes abstract art, pop art and a variety of sculptures. The second floor is dedicated to Native American art and artifacts, such as woven baskets and articles of clothing.

This art collection originated from a split in the Eugene B. Adkins Collection and the Fred Jones Jr. Museum.

“With the Adkins Collection and our growing holdings of Modern and Contemporary Art, it was a great opportunity to take the Philbrook experience to a new level,” said Martin.

The opening of the Philbrook downtown campus didn’t happen overnight; it took much effort.

“The process of opening a new space such as Philbrook Downtown was a long and detailed process that spanned several years.” said Martin. “In that time, we were collecting new works, arranging significant loans and planning the curatorial needs for the new space.”

After taking time to celebrate thier grand accomplishment of opening a second campus, the Philbrook museum staff takes a chance to reflect.

“While we are always focused on the future, never more so than over the last year,” said Martin, “it’s time to balance that with a glance back at our history.”

As a celebration for their 75th aniversary, they plan on opening a special exhibit, “Collective Future” at the main Philbrook campus. They also plan to arrange special festivities at both locations to honor those who made the forward progress of the Philbrook possible, and honor founder Waite Phillips.

“This will be a very exciting year for Tulsa and for Philbrook,” said Martin.

The Philbrook Downtown is located at 116 E. Brady St. and is open Wednesday through Saturday 12-7 and Sunday from 12-5. Admission is free for ORU students, though regular admission is $9.


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