OKLAHOMA CITY — A new exhibit at the Oklahoma History Center Museum opens on Saturday, March 30, in the ONEOK, Inc. Gallery on the first floor. “Into the Mirror” will present a view of Indigenous people from the perspective of Indigenous artists. It challenges concepts and allows the artists’ work to speak for itself. A special members-only reception will be held on opening day at 1 p.m. in the Chesapeake Event Center. It will include a lecture by Leon Natker, director of the Oklahoma History Center Museum and curator of this new exhibit. Members should RSVP online due to limited space.


The exhibit will feature pieces from the museum’s permanent collection by the following artists:


  • Buffalo Meat (Cheyenne), 1847-1917
  • Carl Sweezy (Arapaho), c. 1879-1953
  • Stephen Mopope (Kiowa), 1898-1974
  • James Auchiah (Kiowa), 1906-1974
  • Archie Blackowl (Cheyenne), 1911-1992
  • Woodrow Wilson “Woody” Crumbo (Citizen Potawatomi), 1912-1989
  • Woodrow Wilson “Woody” Big Bow (Kiowa), 1914-1988
  • Willard Stone (Cherokee), 1916-1985
  • Herman Toppah (Kiowa), 1923-1980
  • Enoch Kelly Haney (Seminole/Mvskoke), 1940-2022
  • Jerome Richard Tiger (Mvskoke/Seminole), 1941-1967
  • Ed Defender (Standing Rock Sioux), c. 1953-1999
  • Sharron Ahtone-Harjo (Kiowa) b. 1945

The works range from 1878 to the present and were chosen because they are Native Americans representing other Native Americans. Since the beginning of colonization, representations of Indigenous peoples have been controversial, ranging from overly romantic and idealized to racist caricatures. This exhibit holds the spotlight on how Native Americans represent themselves. A variety of mediums are represented, including oil, acrylic, watercolor, casein, pencil sketches, lithographs and bronze sculpture.

“I believe this is an exhibit that will excite a wide audience. The variety of stylistic changes represented in the 145-year span of the exhibit is truly remarkable, as is the beauty and sense of humor conveyed by the artists,” said Natker. “We go from extreme stylization to realistic and romantic representations, and back.”

The exhibit will close on January 30, 2025. The Oklahoma History Center Museum is located at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr. in Oklahoma City. It is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Please call 405-522-0765 or visit okhistory.org/historycenter for admission costs and group rates.

To become a member of the Oklahoma Historical Society, visit okhistory.org/membership. An OHS membership supports the creation of exhibits, educational programs, special events and publications that bring our history to life. Membership also gives you free admission to the 24 OHS museums and historic sites across the state.

The Oklahoma History Center is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, National Archives and is an accredited member of the American Alliance of Museums. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.