Sprawling Former Oil Baron’s Mansion Site of Tulsa’s Premier Venue For Fine Artwork
The Philbrook Museum of Art is Tulsa’s crown jewel and Oklahoma’s leading privately-supported art museum. It is 125,000 total square feet, contains 30 galleries and has three floors of art.
The museum displays everything from antiquities from Greek, Roman, and Egyptian and other ancient cultures to extensive holdings of 19th century landscape paintings, 20th century American art, contemporary works dating from the 1960s, and contemporary craft media sculpture.
Philbrook contains a restaurant, 26-acre gardens, and a historic Renaissance- style villa. It is also Oklahoma’s only museum school offering classes for children and adults who use the museum’s many resources to get insight into the nature and process of art.
It’s also a great museum for students to visit whether for pleasure or for class extra credit.
“I visit Philbrook several times a month and I have loved it every time I go,” senior Aimee Deal said.
“I’ve been going for four years now, and it’s become a place of refuge and relaxation for me.”
Deal has also experienced the academic side that Philbrook has to offer.
“I completed a 140-hour internship from May to June 2010. I worked directly with the staff and communications department, and the people there are unforgettable.”
During Deal’s stay at Philbrook, she has attended meetings, proposed new marketing, PR, and advertising tactics, taken photography for summer camp, organized files, written and edited articles and press releases, and created possible future promotional events. The program she went through can be very useful for any art or advertising major here. Philbrook also offers volunteer opportunities.
As far as the history of Philbrook, the villa was designed by Edward Buehler and donated in 1938 by Waite and Genevieve Phillips to become the city’s first art museum. The Italianate Villa and gardens were home to them from 1927 to 1938.
Waite Phillips was an inventor, and his wife, Genevieve, traveled many times to Europe and selected many different styles of architecture and art. In the south hall on the second floor is a glass floor that was designed after Genevieve visited Paris.
“The history of Philbrook in itself is the most interesting thing to me,” Deal said. “It is coming up on its 75th anniversary and continues to grow with members.”
In addition to the wonderful art Philbrook offers, they believe in giving back to the community.
There is a food bank on the side of the museum that gives food to Tulsa’s hungry and homeless. The people who work and volunteer there not only show a great love to art and education, but to humanity as well.If one is looking for a museum of rich history and art, check out Philbrook. Not only will visitors learn about some amazing art, but they’ll also find refuge and relaxation amongst the craziness of life.
By Francesca Bee