OKCMOA celebrates 20 years downtown with new exhibits

Three new exhibits opening in 2022 and 2023 join an already packed schedule celebrating OKCMOA’s 20th anniversary downtown.

“Abbas Kiarostami: Beyond the Frame,” “Art and Activism at Tougaloo College,” and “Edith Head: The Golden Age of Hollywood Costume Design” will be included in the previously announced 2022 exhibitions — “The Perfect Shot: Walter Iooss Jr. and the Art of Sports Photography”, “Chihuly Then and Now: The Collection at Twenty” and “Highlights from the Rose Family Glass Collection”.

OKCMOA President and CEO Michael Anderson, Ph.D. said moving the museum to downtown OKC required great vision and leadership.

“Twenty years later, we see the incredible results of that vision,” he said. “Next year, OKCMOA will curate and present four entirely new flagship exhibitions, curated both by our own collection and by prestigious national and international collections; ‘Chihuly Then and Now’, ‘Collection Highlights of Rose Family Glasses”, “Abbas Kiarostami” and “Edith Head”. We embrace our strengths as owners of one of the most comprehensive and impressive collections of studio glass in the region, the Keepers of the legacy of the historic center theater and as a cultural beacon for downtown OKC.

Recently announced exhibits include:

“Abbas Kiarostami: Beyond the Frame”

Oct. 15, 2022 to Jan. 15, 2023

Organized by OKCMOA in partnership with the Kiarostami Foundation, “Abbas Kiarostami: Beyond the Frame” is a multimedia retrospective of the works of renowned Iranian filmmaker, photographer and visual artist Abbas Kiarostami. The first American museum investigation since the artist’s death in 2016, “Beyond the Frame” reveals a singular artistic vision and a body of work of great magnitude for nearly half a century, from his first films for children and his graphic design work to his large-scale immersive photographs and installations of his 21st century video art. This exhibition presents a world premiere of the complete portfolio “Regardez-moi”, Kiarostami’s series of photographs representing visitors to the Louvre and other museums. Alongside the exhibition, a comprehensive retrospective of his feature films will be screened at the Noble Theatre. Kiarostami’s films have won countless international awards, including the Palme d’Or, and frequently appear in polls of the greatest films of all time.

“Art and Activism at Tougaloo College”

Spring 2023

This exhibit features artwork from the collection of Tougaloo College, a historically black college in Mississippi. Founded in 1869, Tougaloo College played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement and the fight for racial equality. In 1963, the college came to national attention when students and faculty staged a sit-in at Woolworth’s in Jackson. That same year, the college’s art collection was formed, making it the first modern art collection in the state of Mississippi. This exhibition features a number of works of art by major European artists of the 20th century, alongside important American artists, including many important black artists. European works include lithographs by Pablo Picasso, George Grosz and Henri Matisse. A strength of the collection is the wide variety of artwork by American artists, ranging from serene landscapes by Robert Duncanson and Richard Mayhew to figurative works by Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden, and abstract paintings and sculptures by ‘Alma Thomas and Richard Hunt. This exhibition is organized by the American Federation of Arts.

“Edith Head: The Golden Age of Hollywood Costume Design”

Summer 2023

Organized by OKCMOA, this exciting retrospective of award-winning costume designer Edith Head features over 70 costumes that span six decades of Head’s career and have been worn by stars including Ginger Rogers, Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck, Shirley MacLaine , Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Kim Novak. With over 400 films to his credit, Head led the costume design departments of Paramount and Universal Studios from the early 1920s through the early 1980s. Head helped define classic Hollywood style with his striking work, who earned her 35 Oscar nominations and eight Oscar wins – more than any other woman to date. To complement the exhibition, a series of related films will be curated for the Museum’s Noble Theater showcasing Head’s work on screen.

Julia P. Cluff