Woolaroc Announces New Exhibit Featuring the Collection of Dr. S. J. Pickens & Hugh Pickens

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Frank Phillips Foundations signs agreement with Pickens Museum to create Pickens Art Gallery at Woolaroc.] Kevin Hoch (left), CEO of the Frank Phillips Foundation and Hugh Pickens, Director of Pickens Museum signed an agreement to create the Pickens Art Gallery at Woolaroc featuring select pieces of fine art from the Pickens collection, including works by Native American artists Yatika Starr Fields, Allan Houser, and Fritz Scholder.
"Red Man" by Native American Artist Fritz Scholder will be one of the pieces loaned from Pickens Museum to be displayed in the Pickens Art Gallery at Woolaroc. Pickens Museum Director Hugh Pickens on right.

Press Release

Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve

Kevin Hoch, CEO

918.336.0307 ext.102



Woolaroc Announces New Exhibit Featuring the Collection of Dr. S. J. Pickens & Hugh Pickens

[BARTLESVILLE, OK, August 22, 2022] Woolaroc Museum is excited to announce the exhibition of the late Dr. S. J. Pickens, and Hugh Pickens collection of art. The Pickens Art Gallery is set to be on display in the Bunkhouse late January of 2023 and will feature select pieces of fine art from the Pickens collection, including works by Native American artists Yatika Starr Fields, Allan Houser, and Fritz Scholder.

When asked about his love of art, Hugh stated “I remember visiting the home of our church's youth director, Rev. Charles Clapp in 1967 when I was 17 years old and seeing original art on the walls of his apartment. I had always thought that art was only in museums and this opened my eyes to the world. I vowed that someday I would have original art in my home.”

Hugh made his first art acquisition when serving in the Peace Corps from 1970 -73 while living in the Andes in Huancayo, Peru. It was there that he made the acquaintance of Peruvian Artist Josue Sanchez and bought his first paintings by him. “My wife and I independently became art collectors prior to our marriage and this was something we had in common that brought us together. Prior to our marriage, my wife primarily collected African art and African-American art including paintings, bronzes, and verdite sculptures. When my wife and I married in 1984 we combined our two collections and began purchasing art together,” stated Hugh. The couple added to their vast collection throughout their marriage, and Hugh has continued to collect after her passing in 2017.

“I am thrilled for Woolaroc to be able to partner with Hugh and showcase his collection here at Woolaroc,” stated Woolaroc Museum Director, Shiloh Thurman. “This partnership allows our visitors an opportunity to experience new and fresh artwork that is outside of our permeant collection on a rotational basis.” Woolaroc CEO, Kevin Hoch added, “Hugh has amassed an incredible collection of paintings, sculptures, and jewelry over the past five decades. We are proud to partner with him to diversify our guest experience and share his lifelong passion of the arts with our many supporters.”

Woolaroc is open year-round and is a 3,700-acre wildlife preserve, museum, historical attraction, and much more. For more information visit www.woolaroc.org or visit their Facebook and Instagram page. Woolaroc is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is located 12 miles SW of Bartlesville, OK, on State Highway 123.

About Pickens Museum

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.
“"War Club" by Native Artist Yatika Starr Fields was recently acquired from Garth Greenam Gallery to Pickens Museum. Personal and social struggle have long been integral to the artist’s practice. After joining the Water Protectors at the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016, Fields increasingly centered the Indigenous history of hope and struggle in his work, particularly in his studio practice. In his 2017 series, Tent Metaphor Standing Rock, Field recovered tents after the infamous February 22, 2017 police raid on the protesters. The artist recombined the vivid tenting material—the mainstay of middle-class camping holidays that has become an icon of homelessness and protest movements—into traditional Indigenous patterns, anti-pipeline slogans, and into dynamic, compelling abstract compositions. As in his graffiti works, Fields blurs the line between abstraction and representation, creating stylistic compositions out of recognizable elements, and setting them against dynamic, swirling fields of color and twisting forms. The works blur the boundaries between political polemic and abstraction, between distress, resistance and hope.
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.
Drum player by Allan Houser. This stone carving is part of the collection at Pickens Museum.
"Red Man" by Native American Artist Fritz Scholder. Pickens Museum Director Hugh Pickens on right.
Osage Warrior in the Enemy Camp.
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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