Exhibitions showcase the American West’s rich history, culture, and evolving significance to the nation’s identity.

OKLAHOMA CITYThe National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will host three new spring exhibitions including Unlocking the Vault: Mysteries and Marvels of the Museum, Do You See What I See? Painted Conversations by Theodore Waddell, and In the Principles Office: Tom Ryan the Art Student. These exhibitions will highlight the American West’s diverse history, artistry, and evolving cultures that continue to shape the nation today.

Unlocking the Vault: Mysteries and Marvels of the Museum exposes rarely seen artifacts from the Museum’s vault. From John Wayne’s personal Buddha sculptures to a sketch of a dinosaur on CM Russell letterhead, this exhibition gives visitors a unique look at what, why, and how museums collect. On display from February 9 – May 13, 2018. Related photos here.

Do You See What I See? Painted Conversations by Theodore Waddell explores Waddell’s abstract expressionism like never before. This exhibition redirects the visitor’s attention to the importance of what they do not see rather than what they do see on the canvas, and the opportunity to perceive something different in the same painting each time it is viewed. On display from February 9 – May 13, 2018. Related photos here.

In the Principles Office: Tom Ryan the Art Student takes visitors into the classroom with Ryan as he takes “general illustration” with famed teacher Frank Reilly. Learn the principles of art as he did; the meaning of snow on the shoulders; the difference between hues and values; the importance of anatomy; and the draftsmanship precision of perspective. On display from April 7 – November 11, 2018. Related photos here.

“These temporary exhibitions offer the public an opportunity to experience and enjoy the West in a myriad of new ways,” said Museum Registrar and Exhibits Coordinator Melissa Owens. “From contemporary Western art to a rare glance at never-before-seen Museum artifacts, this is an unmatched opportunity for visitors to enrich their understanding of Western heritage and culture – and find their place in the West.”

For more information about the Museum’s upcoming exhibitions and related programming, visit nationalcowboymuseum.org or call (405) 478-2250.

About the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum  

Nationally accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is located only six miles northeast of downtown Oklahoma City in the Adventure District at the junction of Interstates 44 and 35, the state’s exciting Adventure Road corridor. The Museum offers annual memberships beginning at just $40. For more information, visit nationalcowboymuseum.org. For high-resolution images related to the National Cowboy Museum or these exhibitions, visit nationalcowboymuseum.org/media-pics/.