OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Museum officials from Oklahoma's two flagship universities packed 55 separate pieces of art from the state Senate collection on Tuesday and shipped them to Stillwater for display in a new university museum.
Employees from art museums at Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma wrapped mostly oil paintings in the state Capitol's fourth-floor rotunda. The works also include seven bronze statues.
The art will be shipped to the OSU Museum of Art's new Postal Plaza Gallery, a 15,000-square-foot space in an old Post Office building in downtown Stillwater. The collection titled "Framing History: Highlights from the Oklahoma State Senate Collection" will be on display at the museum from July 10 to Oct. 15.
"This collection is phenomenal," said Victoria Berry, the director of the new museum. "It's really a great opportunity to explore how many different ways you can tell a story."
The OSU museum, housed in a renovated WPA-era downtown building built in 1933, opened in January. The Senate art, which chronicles various events in Oklahoma history, will be the museum's first traveling exhibit and features all Oklahoma artists.
Two 9-foot-long oil paintings by artist Mike Wimmer that usually hang in the Senate gallery will anchor the exhibit. The museum is free and open to the public.
"It captures the history of the state," Berry said. "It's really a way to introduce our community to what museums can do."
Each missing piece will be marked with a label bearing its image until the artwork is returned to the Capitol in November.