NORMAN, OKLA. – Four years of planning, construction and preparations are about to pay off when the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma opens its new Stuart Wing to the public on Saturday, Oct. 22, followed by a special community celebration from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23. Admission is free to the public both days.

 

The Stuart Wing provides a new 18,000-square-foot expansion of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art to house the museum’s many collections acquired within the past 15 years. Designed by noted architect Rand Elliott, the new addition is named the Stuart Wing for OU Regent Jon R. Stuart and his wife, Dee Dee, a member of the art museum’s board of visitors, in recognition of their $3 million lead gift to the campaign to fund the expansion project for the museum and their dedication to the university. Regent Stuart is president and CEO of First Stuart Corp., a Tulsa-based family investment company.

 

“Regent and Mrs. Stuart, together with several other supporters, continue to show their passion for quality art and education through their generous support of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art,” said Ghislain d’Humières, museum director. “The Stuart Wing will be a living testimony of their pursuits, as well as a fantastic home for the installation of one of the university’s crown jewels: the Eugene B. Adkins Collection.”

 

The Stuart Wing includes a new gallery to house the acclaimed Adkins Collection, which is one of the nation’s most important private collections of Taos and Native American artists. The Adkins Collection, which is valued at approximately $50 million, features approximately 3,300 objects, including more than 400 Native American paintings, plus pottery and jewelry. The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art and the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa are joint stewards of the Adkins Collection.

 

After two years of planning, construction on the new wing began in 2009. Construction includes renovations to the original 1971 building and the addition of the Adkins Gallery, a new photography gallery and new administrative offices. In all, the new Stuart Wing, with renovations, includes 27,480 square feet of exhibition space. The renovations and additions bring the total exhibition space in the museum to approximately 40,000 square feet.

 

A grand staircase, constructed just behind the west wall of the original building, will lead visitors from the first floor and the level below to the 7,800-square-foot Adkins Gallery. After viewing the Adkins Collection, visitors will be able to move up to the new mezzanine level to view the nearly 4,300-square-foot Ellen and Richard L. Sandor Photography Gallery, where OU’s extensive and important photography collection, along with works on paper, will be featured in rotating exhibits.

 

The Museum of Art’s collections total nearly 16,000 works of art which, in addition to the Adkins Collection, includes the Weitzenhoffer Collection of French Impressionism, one of the most important gifts of art ever given to a U.S. public university, as well as the James T. Bialac Collection of more than 3,700 works representing indigenous cultures across North America; the Richard H. and Adeline J. Fleischaker Collection of Native American paintings, sculpture and pottery; the Roxanne P. and William H. Thams Collection of Southwestern art by members of the famous Taos Society of Artists, also known as the Taos Colony; the Priscilla C. and Joseph N. Tate Collection, including masterpieces by members of the Taos Society of Artists; and the Dr. and Mrs. Richard L. Sandor Photography Collection.

 

Also housed in the wing are other important works from the collections of Jerome M. Westheimer, Sr., Rennard Strickland, Carol Beesley Hennagin and other works of photography.

 

An exhibition catalog is available at Muse, the museum store.

 

The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is located in the OU Arts District on the corner of Elm Avenue and Boyd Street, at 555 Elm Ave., on the OU Norman campus.

 

Admission to the museum is free to all OU students with a current student ID and all museum association members, $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for children 6 to 17 years of age, $2 for OU faculty/staff and free for military veterans with proof and children 5 and under. The museum is closed on Mondays and admission is free on Tuesdays. The museum’s website is www.ou.edu/fjjma. Information and accommodations on the basis of disability are available by calling (405) 325-4938.

 

 

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FRED JONES JR. MUSEUM OF ART

UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA - NORMAN

CONTACT MICHAEL BENDURE, Director of Communication, 405-325-3178, mbendure@ou.edu

FAX: 405-325-7696

www.ou.edu/fjjma