Nan Sheets

Class of
Nan Sheets

Nan Sheets

“Traditions are important; history is important. And Nan did so much for the arts. She defined the arts in Oklahoma City. We wouldn’t have a museum today if it weren’t for her, and I want the gallery to honor her.”
Joy Reed Belt, 2001


Distinguished artist and well-known in art circles across the Midwest, Nan Sheets was born in Illinois and received a pharmacy degree from Valparaiso University in Indiana. She enrolled at the Broadmoor Art Academy in Colorado and exhibited her paintings at the Kansas City exhibitions for Midwestern artists and at art centers across the eastern United States. Most credited with establishing Oklahoma City’s art museum, she served as its director for almost thirty years until she retired in 1965. She remained active in art circles and was honored on numerous occasions for her talent and contributions toward “making Oklahoma City a cultural center.”

Fun fact

The living room of Nan Sheets’ first home at 2810 North Walker in Oklahoma City “was the first thing resembling an art gallery in Oklahoma.”

Oklahoma connections

Sheets came to Bartlesville and then Oklahoma City with her husband, Dr. Fred Sheets, in 1916.


Oklahoma City







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