Category Archives: Museums

Tulsa’s Greenwood Rising Museum

About a month ago I checked out the Greenwood Rising Museum in the Greenwood District of Tulsa just north of downtown.

The museum opened to visitors in August 2021 a little over a 100 years after the Greenwood Massacre in the same area.

The museum has a lot to about the massacre but the emphasis is on the Greenwood community. It also has a lot about the forces of repression against people of color that has been occurring from the early days of Oklahoma right up to the present.

This isn’t the type of museum that has a lot of relics or art to look at. It’s more of a story telling museum using photographs, videos, and displays.

Greenwood was known as the “Black Wall Street” because of its prosperity. Cut off from the white part of town, Greenwood prospered and that was a problem for many in the white community.

The massacre itself lasted less than 24 hours from May 31 to June 1, 1921. A white mob attacked the district and killed several hundred people and burned much of the area to the ground.

No white person was ever brought to justice. The blame was placed squarely on the residents. Although many had insurance nothing was paid under the provisions of riots exemptions.

Afterwards as the community struggled to rebuild, the City of Tulsa responded by requiring brick homes and other things meant to encourage the residents to sell out to white people.

Eventually, the community rebuilt itself and then faced another destructive force. Urban Renewal led to the demolition of many homes and businesses and the construction of a freeway running right through the neighborhood. The white areas south of downtown got below grade freeways to minimze the impact the effect of the highway on the residents. The Greenwood area did not get the same consideration. To this day, there are vast areas just west of Greenwood that are still barren.

The community is resilient and is thriving.

The museum is about a lot more than the massacre.

There is still a fight going on. The Oklahoma legislature has passed laws making it hader to register and vote, aimed squarely at minority voters. The fragile white legislature have also passed laws that inhibit the teaching of the injustices of the past. It might be illegal to bring students to this museum.

I went through the museum, and I did not feel that white people are attacked or disparaged at all. The facility is telling a story in an even handed manner. They are telling the story of their community in a factual manner.

I highly recommend visiting Greenwood Rising. It is well done.

Note that they are closed for the month of August as they refresh the facility. They announced an interesting thing, you can get a preview of the museum for free on the smartphone app “Bloomberg Connects.” I downloaded it and it is a great app. You can tour lots of museums all across the world not just Greenwood Rising.

So, I recommend check Greenwood Rising out if you happen to be in the Tulsa area. Check the link for hours and other info.

I am posting at My Corner of the World. Come check it out.

A Visit to the First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City

Bill Sharon Alan Selfie

Late last week I met up with my old friends from Texas, Bill and Sharon. We had lunch and caught up with the goings on of our families. We then headed to just south of downtown Oklahoma City to see the brand new First Americans Museum. The museum was first conceived in 1989 and has been through a lot of ups and downs and reconfiguring and finally opened up in 2021. Yep, this museum took 32 years to come into being. It’s worth the wait. The story is here. (Sorry that it is behind a pay wall.)

The spacious entry lobby

I didn’t know what to expect but when I hear “museum” I think of art so I brought my camera but this isn’t that kind of museum. There is lots of art on display but the art is used to help tell the story of the 39 Native American tribes in Oklahoma. And what a story it is.

A story of a population of millions in the Americas before contact with Europeans and to just a few hundred thousand by the start of the 20th century due to enslavement, decimation, neglect, assimilation, and removal. The tribes and their people suffered tremendously. The museum tells that story in a straightforward and plainspoken manner.

The rest of the story is about their resurgence as a resilient people and a culture and their fight for their rights. Today they are thriving but are still fighting hard for their rights and their culture is flourishing. There is so much information presented that my meagre little brain got overloaded, so I’ll have to go back.

So this museum is more about culture, history, and education than about the objects. I recommend it highly if you are in the area. I think my friends Bill and Sharon enjoyed the museum.

Get all the details here.

Our World – Spring Break Side Trip – Crystal Bridges Museum, Bentonville, Arkansas


We have been on Spring Break in Branson, Missouri. On our way back Sunday we made a little side trip to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. They had a special exhibition, “William S. Paley Collection: A Taste for Modernism” from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.


We love the Crystal Bridges Museum and we loved this show. I went overboard again and took photographs of almost everything in it. My favorites were:


Two Dancers by Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas. Who doesn’t love Degas dancers?


Iris by Auguste Rodin. I loved the gracefulness of the small work. I guess I had a dance theme going on.

Odalisque with a Tambourine by Henri Matisse

Odalisque with a Tambourine by Henri Matisse. I loved the lush colors of this work.

Au Cafe' (Synchrony) by Stanton McDonald-Wright

Au Cafe (Synchrony) by Stanton McDonald-Wright. I loved the colors in this one. McDonald-Wright was a pioneer of Synchromism where paintings are freed from anything related to the real world. I’m sure I am butchering the concept. Check out wikipedia

Crystal Bridges was a great way to close out our Spring Break. Back to the grindstone now!

Our World Tuesday

Back to the Future at the Celebrity Car Museum in Branson


Here in Branson we went to see Heather’s friend Raine who works at the Celebrity Car Museum. Raines is not only a car guy, he is quite an artist. He painted the Back to the Future themed mural above and almost all of the other art work in the museum. He is a busy man and generously took time to show us everything in the museum.


One of the special cars they have is a 1981 Delorean DMC-12, one of six used in the Back to the Future trilogy of films. As Raine put it, Heather is sitting where Michael J. Fox sat.


Personally, I think Heather looks better than Michael J. Fox ever did on his best day.


Of course, we had to try the time travel part of the car to see if it still worked.


So here is Logan present day. And then we dialed in four years ago, pushed the button and ….


Ooops, who shrunk the kid!!

Have you ever sat where Michael J. Fox sat?

Have you ever traveled through time? I want to hear about it.

Visiting the J.M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum in Claremore, Oklahoma

Hey, my Dad’s in town for Thanksgiving and I like to show him around. I mean Dr. Oz isn’t on until 4 right. Not that he watches him, or so he saaaaays!!. I’ve taken him to Philbrook a bunch of times, Gilcrease several, Woolaroc, and to see the Buffalo near Pawhuska one time  the Will Rogers Musuem in Claremore, and to the Tulsa History Museum, and to Reunification Park. Where do we go now? Well, he provided the answer. “Son, how come we haven’t been to the gun museum in Claremore?” Well, I don’t know Dad, lets go!

#guns #rifles #weapons #jmdavis #gunmuseum #claremore #oklahoma #museums #igersok

So off we went to the J.M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum in Claremore, just north of Tulsa. Do you like to look at stuff? They have 50,000 items to look at. Do you like guns? They have 14,000 firearms to look at. They have the largest privately owned gun collection in the country.  (You know, except for that secret army that Obama has in Mexico waiting to invade the USA, after he signs over our sovereignty to the United Nations. Supposed to happen any minute! You gotta watch that Obama dude, he’s sneaky. Except when it comes to web sites. Too bad Al Gore, the inventor of the Internet, doesn’t throw him a bone! I mean Kathleen Sibelius, what does she know, she is from Kansas. They are not even scheduled to get the Internet until next year!) Oops, I have gone way off target. Sorry.


You don’t like guns, they have lots of beer steins.


And they have a ton of guns.


You don’t like guns, they have Native American artifacts like these spear points, and arrowheads, and axes and other items.


They have guns owned by bandits!!


You don’t like guns, they have musical instruments!!


And they have rifles everywhere.


And saucy saddles and Gal Leg spurs.


And Kalishnikov’s!


Still don’t like guns, they have banjos.


And more guns owned by bandits, complete with a getaway map. All bandits have getaway maps. If they didn’t they wouldn’t be bandits.


And for the bad guys of the world. They have a collection of actual nooses and hoods used in the hanging of various and sundry criminals in and near Oklahoma. Many of them were surely guilty, maybe even for the crimes they were hung for.

Can you top that?

It’s a heck of a museum, I don’t care if you like guns or not.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Exhausted by Art and Earning Refreshment

Today we “did” the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art here in Kanas City during our Fall Break. Or maybe it did us?

“Hollywood” by Thomas Hart Benton

We were overwhelmed by all the works in the place. Hundreds and hundreds of pieces, or it seemed like to me, in endless rooms. And it was all magnificent, and by gum we were going to see it all. I’m not sure we saw it all but we looked at it all. We were in there for about four hours and were plum exhausted by it all.


I did get a selfie in though, and I got Heather and Logan in it as well.

#ipa #rootbeer #stout at #mccoyspublichouse #kansascity #roadfood #roadtrip #fallbreak

We earned our refreshments I tell you!

Did you earn your refreshments today? Tell me about it.

Symbols of Sacrifice

On our second day of our Fall break trip to Kansas City we spent several hours at the National World War I Museum. Talk about a wonderful museum. It is very well done and lots of exhibits and explanatory information and even sound booths where you can listen to poems and songs from the era. It really was overwhelming. To me a great museum needs several visits to really appreciate. So at a new museum my strategy is yes take it all in but really focus on the details. Sometimes you can find something new there. Something that gives the experience a little extra meaning.


What got me today was the symbols of sacrifice. I mean I loved all the artillery pieces, machine guns, sniper rifles, and the like but it was symbols like the Blue Stars that I noticed this time. The Blue Star of course means that the family has a loved one at war.


The Gold Star means that a family has lost a loved in battle.


The Congressional Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest award for valor.


The new symbol for me was the poppy. Poppy’s were first mentioned in the poem about World War I dead by John McCrae. I thought the poppy as a symbol of sacrifice originated in Great Britain. According to Wikipedia, it originated in the United States after World War I and then spread to other countries. I haven’t seen poppy’s for sale in the US for years. It is still a potent symbol in Great Britain I’m told. The Story Behind the Remembrance Poppy is an excellent summary of history of the symbol.


One of the most moving things I’ve ever seen on YouTube (I know that is not saying a lot) is a ceremony of dropping poppies during the Festival of Remembrance held every November 11 to remember the end of the hostilities of World War I. 

You know the Yanks may have come up with the symbol of the Poppy but the Brits have taken it to a new level.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae

Anyway, we had a good time and learned a lot at the museum and I recommend it highly. There is not a whole lot of glory in war is the reinforced lesson, but there is much courage and sacrifice.

Our World – Contrasts inside the Museum at Woolaroc – Part Deaux

Last week I posted about SuperPizzaBoy and I driving to Woolaroc as part of a road trip and it was kind of crowded because of the Phillips Petroleum Employee picnic. That post was focused mainly on the critters of Woolaroc. Woolaroc is the former ranch, country home, and private museum of oilman Frank Phillips, founder of Phillips Petroleum Company.


This week’s emphasis is on the museum and other inside displays at Woolaroc.That is the the thing about Woolaroc, it has a great museum planted in the middle of what is essientially a working bison and longhorn cattle ranch out in the middle of nowhere. Don’t count on too many bars when you are there.


I’ve been to Woolaroc many times and I still find new stuff at the museum. It takes several trips for me before I figure out what a museum is all about.  What struck me this trip was the contrasts I saw. Especially that of Native Americans.


There is the Native American as great and feared warriors.


And as a defeated people longing for the wonderful past.


There is the Native American as the friendly, spiritual guide to children.


And as savage warriors kicking some major Custer butt at Little Bighorn.


As participants in wild pagan dances.


And performing fine arts in bucolic settings.

These are all romantic views and I think the truth is lost somewhere in there. I didn’t think about it at the time but I don’t recall too many, if any, art pieces by Native Americans on display at the museum. I can tell you that Native American culture including  is alive and all about the now. 

The other contrast I noticed were in the Pioneer Woman statues. Back in 1927, E.W. Marland a wealthy oilman commissioned twelve sculptors to come up with representations of a Pioneer Woman. The twelve entries were displayed all around the USA.  I didn’t take pictures of all of them but the winner was something like this one. A schoolmarmish tough woman. And, I’m sure those pioneer women way back when were tough. You know, no facebook, no pedicure places, or mothers day out or any of that other stuff.


Below gets my vote evvery time. Don’t ask me why.

Logan and I went to Osage County today and ran into the #pioneerwoman very #hot_sauce at #woolaroc #museum

The other thing about visiting museums often is that after a while you start seeing things you never noticed before. For example three things that will put me to sleep real fast in western museums are displays about guns, barbed wire, and spurs. I mean really who cares? Well I noticed the spurs this time. For example the following. Okay stay awake with me okay. I know it is a real snoozer. 


The below was called a “Gal Leg” Spur. I didn’t get it right at first.


I had passed by that display 20 times over the years and never noticed it. So now, you and I both know about Gal Leg Spurs. There are dozens of varieties.

That’s all for now folks.

Our World Tuesday

My World – Tulsa Children’s Museum – Discovery Lab

It was hot Saturday, so SuperPizzaBoy and I went to the new Tulsa Children’s Museum at Owen Park just north of downtown Tulsa.


It is located in the old Owen Park Community Center but the buildng has been totally revamped and repurposed. 


We did it all, SPB really liked the bed of nails. 


No children were punctured for this blog. He said he could feel slight pricks fromt the nails but that was it. 


We went through the Tulsa Tape Tunnel. A long winding tunnel through the air that seemed like it was made of packing tape. It was lots of fun.


It is very safe and stable. The little kids shot past both of us.


It ends with a long slide to the floor. I didn’t know that they made slick packing tape?


We did it all. They have displays on aerodynamics, mechanics, optics, waves, electric circuits, lots of stuff, and they have things to build and play with.


They have lots of people to help with the displays if needed.


They have an activity center to make stuff.


It was a great way to spend the afternoon. I also tell you that it is not just for kids. I was definitely not the oldest person enjoying themselves. They also have stuff for the real little kids. Nowhere did I see any “Do Not Touch” Signs. This place is definitely a “Please Touch” museum.


I know that we liked it.

Our World Tuesday