Pickens Museum Displays Route 66 Murals by Robert Hardee

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Pickens Museum Displays Route 66 Murals by Robert Hardee. Robert Hardee, who passed away in 2008 at age 55, is well known throughout the Ponca City area through the much exhibited prints of his "Ponca City Landmarks" painted from 1985 through 1993.
Pickens Museum Displays Route 66 Murals by Robert Hardee. Hardee's paintings are characterized by bright colors, which the artist obtains by using a technique which he says is "reminiscent of an early Flemish technique."

Robert Hardee is well known throughout the Ponca City area through the much exhibited prints of his "Ponca City Landmarks" painted from 1985 through 1993. The prints can be found hanging in many businesses and homes throughout the area. Hardee's historic landmark paintings include the Arcade Hotel, Downtown Ponca City featuring the Poncan Theatre, the old Rock Island Depot, the early day Ponca City Library; City Hall, which includes the statue of Marland, the Marland Mansion, and the Marland Grand Home. All prints are limited editions and most of the earlier prints are sold out but occasionally come up for sale on ebay over thirty years after they were created.

Now Pickens Museum is displaying two large murals by Hardee, who passed away in 2008 at age 55. The two murals called "Route 66" and "Route 66 Roadhouse “ are on display in the library for Northern Oklahoma College in Tonkawa." "These two murals were originally commissioned for a restaurant in Ponca City and on display in their dining room," says Hugh Pickens, Executive Director of Pickens Museum. "When the restaurant went out of business about 15 years ago, we had the opportunity to purchase the two murals."

Hardee's paintings are characterized by bright colors, which the artist obtains by using a technique which he says is "reminiscent of an early Flemish technique." First, an under painting is made using acrylics in shades of brown-gray and white. About two dozen layers of paint are applied to a sketch to obtain the necessary subtleties in shading. Then, three to four layers of translucent oil paint are glazed on top of the underpainting. Several months are required to accomplish the technique.

Hardee was an adopted member of the Ponca Nation. When not painting, teaching or riding a horse, Hardee could be be found at White Eagle visiting his Ponca relatives.

Hardee graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a bachelor's degree in fine arts. He was a department supervisor at the University of Chicago Regenstein Library and taught an adult education course for the Field Museum of Natural History. Hardee taught art in Tulsa Public Schools beginning in 1995. He later became the visual art instructor at Booker T. Washington High School, where he taught the international baccalaureate art program. He also tutored in American Indian education programs and taught art classes for Indian children. He was an artist in residence for the Arts Council of Oklahoma for 10 years.

Hardee's philosophy was that knowledge gained becomes most worthwhile when it is shared with others, especially younger generations. This is one reason why teaching was so important to him. At the same time, it was equally important to Hardee to continue to live as a working artist. "This creative path has chosen me," wrote Hardee, "and the creative force which comes from within is a gift not to be taken for granted."

Reference

Osage Warrior in the Enemy Camp by Sculptor John Free. Seeking to attain his tribe's highest war honor by touching his enemy. This action among indigenous peoples is called "Counting Coup".
Osage Warrior in the Enemy Camp by Sculptor John Free. “Osage Warrior in the Enemy Camp” is a bronze created by Osage Artist John Free. The bronze, eight feet high and twelve feet long) was enlarged to 1-1/4 life size through the efforts of John Free of the Bronze Horse foundry in Pawhuska and Hugh Pickens. Pictured (L-R): Hugh Pickens, Executive Director of Pickens Museum and Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear of the Osage Nation.
Three Faces of the Pioneer Woman by Artist Daniel Pickens. “Three Faces of the Pioneer Woman” is a mural painted by fine artist Daniel Pickens. Daniel was born in Lima, Peru in 1974 and is currently living in Stockholm, Sweden. This mural is at our Ponca City location.
Three Faces of the Pioneer Woman by Artist Daniel Pickens. Our mural "The Three Faces of the Pioneer Woman" is located in City Central at our Ponca City location.
Doctor Pickens Museum of Turquoise Jewelry and Art. Pickens Museum displays art works at NOC Tonkawa campus. Pictured (L-R): Dr. Cheryl Evans, NOC President, Hugh Pickens, Executive Director of Pickens Museum, and Sheri Snyder, NOC Vice President for Development and Community Relations. (photo by John Pickard/Northern Oklahoma College) This art is at our Tonkawa location
Native American Artist Yatika Starr Fields Completes Mural for Pickens Museum.
The World's Largest Naja. Future location of Pickens Museum on Route 60 and "U" Street West of Ponca City
Architectural Renderings of Pickens Museum.
Aerial View from East of Future location of Pickens Museum along Route 60 at "U" Street West of Ponca City
Display of Turquoise Jewelry.
"Red Man" by Native American Artist Fritz Scholder. Pickens Museum Director Hugh Pickens on right.
Native American Jewelry Artist Tonya Rafael with a silver frame she created to honor my wife Sr. S.J. Pickens. My wife and Tonya worked together over the years creating new jewelry art pieces. My wife had an eye for color and would often design a spectacular piece and ask Tonya to execute it for her. A skilled silversmith, Tonya would sometimes stay in our guest house, set up a workshop, and work for days at a time on a Squash Blossom, Bolo, or Bracelet my wife commissioned. The piece is a silver picture frame that Tonya cut out of thick silver plate. Around the edge of the picture frame are 95 small turquoise stones. In the top is a large spiny oyster stone in the shape of a heart. The frame contains a photo that Tonya took of my wife a few years ago. Dr. Pickens is wearing one of her favorite outfits and if you look closely you can see a special squash blossom and necklace that Tonya created for my wife. In the bottom of the frame is an inscription.
Native American Artist Jolene Bird. Jolene Bird is an accomplished artist who learned her craft from her grandfather over 20 years ago. Jolene makes her jewelry in the tradition of the Santo Domingo Pueblo in New Mexico. This is a Fender Stratocaster guitar onto which Jolene has attached pieces of Kingman and Sonoran Turquoise highlighted with Jet. The stars are in Abalone, Mother of Pearl, Pipestone, Yellow Serpentine, and Spiny Oyster. The artistry in this piece is simply breathtaking and has to be seen to be believed. Consider that this is a three dimensional mosaic, a three dimensional jigsaw puzzle if you will. Jolene told me that each individual piece of turquoise had to be cut, shaped, and ground down to fit perfectly with the other pieces. Each individual piece probably took six to eight hours to produce and there are literally hundreds of pieces covering the guitar.
American Indian by Paul Manship This piece at Pickens Museum is the only known existing copy of this sculpture.
Painting by Peruvian Artist Josue Sanchez. Photo Credit: Hugh Pickens Pickens Museum

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