75th anniversary of the Beaux Arts Ball and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art celebrated in new exhibition

Opening Nov. 7 at OKCMOA, “Beaux Arts at 75” celebrates the interconnected history of the Museum’s Beaux Arts collection and the Beaux Arts Ball, an annual fundraiser organized by the Beaux Arts Society. In honor of the 75th anniversary of both OKCMOA and the Beaux Arts Ball, the Museum will present its entire Beaux Arts collection in a series of exhibitions and permanent collection installations highlighted by “Beaux Arts at 75.”

“I am extremely grateful to the Beaux Arts Society for their continued generosity,” added Dr. Michael Anderson, OKCMOA president and CEO. “Beginning with a Rembrandt etching from a Sears’ department store in Sequoyah, Oklahoma in 1965, OKCMOA – and our predecessor, the Oklahoma Arts Center – acquired many of our collection highlights through funds contributed by the Beaux Arts Society. ‘Beaux Arts at 75’ celebrates the adventurous spirit that helped build this one-of-a-kind collection.”

In this original exhibition, the Museum will present long-standing favorites next to rarely seen gems, introducing an always surprising collection that includes outstanding works by:

  • America’s famed Ashcan School artists, such as Robert Henri and John Sloan
  • American Impressionists including Childe Hassam
  • Key later-generation Surrealists and Magical Realists
  • Postmodernists including Annette Lemieux and Fritz Scholder
  • Leading figures of Pop Art and American abstraction such as James Rosenquist and Oklahoma City’s own Joe Goode. 

The Beaux Arts Ball, first held in 1945, began as a costumed fundraiser. The idea was conceived by Eleanor Blake Kirkpatrick, a philanthropist and friend of the Oklahoma Art Center’s first director, Nan Sheets. The event raised almost $2,500 to pay for the Oklahoma Art Center’s first year of operating expenses. Since 1965, the Beaux Arts Society has contributed more than $1 million for art acquisitions at the Oklahoma Art Center and its successor, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. 

The Beaux Arts Collection at OKCMOA is comprised of 36 eclectic works, 21 of which will be featured in “Beaux Arts at 75.” An additional 7 works are on view in the Museum’s permanent collection galleries. The remaining 8 works will be on view beginning Feb. 20, 2021 as part of a new exhibition “Moving Vision: Op and Kinetic Art from the Sixties and Seventies.”

The Museum is currently operating with limited capacity and is open Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 12 to 5 p.m. Timed entry tickets for “Beaux Arts at 75” are available every 15 minutes and are on sale now. Children receive free admission to this exhibition.