A Morning at the Museum
Oklahoma City Travel Blog› entry 12 of 16 › view all entries
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
We were up, ready, and on the road by 9 AM. That put us about a half hour behind. I wanted to be at the National Cowboy and
I had the address for the museum programmed into my GPS, and as we traveled east on I-40, and then seemingly into the suburban hills of OKC, I was starting to think that TomTom was about to let me down.
We paid our admission and headed for art portion of the museum. I was anxious to see the Russells and Remingtons, that were part of the museum’s permanent collection. I do not have an eye for fine art, but I know what I like. Charles Russell and Frederic Remington are extremely well known painters of the American West of 100 plus years ago. But, before we could reach them we were stopped by a huge sculpture of a mountain lion, done in white marble. The piece was titled “Canyon Princess” and it was done in marble from Marble, CO. Marble is a small mining town near Glenwood Springs that has produced some of the finest white marble in the world. Stone from Marble was used to make the Lincoln Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I need to get up there to visit.
But, I digress.
The one thing I really did not like was the restrictions on picture taking. Some areas you could, some you couldn’t and some you could, but with no flash. I thought that it was to prevent the degradation of the paint, but I got in trouble for taking a picture of a sculpture.
The NCWHM is not just an art museum. Margo and I did find the Russells and Remingtons, in the Art of the American West Gallery (guarded by “Canyon Princess”) but some we soon moved on to the other exhibits. We enjoyed Prosperity Junction. The museum had set up an old west town, in a serious of buildings. You could wander into the saloon, or the sheriff’s office. We found the school house and the doctor’s office. All were furnished with period artifacts and a number of them, like the jail, were guest interactive. I think Margo particularly enjoyed seeing me incarcerated in the Sheriff’s authentic jail. We left Prosperity Junction just in time, as a family with loud and rude kids showed up right behind us.
We moved on the Western Performers Gallery.
The American Rodeo Gallery was also very memorable. Here the museum had a rodeo arena setup, and as you walk through and around it you encounter various displays telling the history of rodeo, rodeo events, and the champions from those events. Overhead is a large monitor that runs a loop documentary, coupled with the grandstands gives you a chance to rest your feet.
We went kind of quickly through the Fire Arms Gallery, that had a real Gatlin Gun on display, in addition to the 100s (1000s?) of other weapons, and the Native American Gallery.
We were getting hungry and we were pressed for time. We had another museum that held equal interest to see. But, we were not leaving with out seeing “The End of The Trail”. Actually, we had seen it. You can’t miss it. The sculpture is very famous. It has been reproduced many times, and in many sizes. The original is 18 feet tall. It depicts an Indian mounted on a pony, with a battle spear cradled in his arm, point down. Both the Indian and pony are bowed in a pronounced posture of exhaustion. When you see it, you will recognize it.
It has an interesting history. The artist, James Earle Frasure, created it in 1915 for the Panama Pacific International Exposition.
We were very pleased with the time we spent here.