Beyond the Portraits: Artists and Their Subjects

This exhibition is an exploration of the diverse range of portrait artists featured within the Gaylord-Pickens Museum’s collection of portraits and busts. The eight artworks selected were created between 1924-2004 and showcase a wide range of artistic styles.

Open date

October 22, 2019

Close date

July 15, 2020

Exhibit type

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This exhibition is an exploration of the diverse range of portrait artists featured within the Gaylord-Pickens Museum's collection of portraits and busts. Seven paintings and one bust were chosen to represent the diversity present in this collection, which consists of more than 250 portraits depicting Oklahoma Hall of Fame members. The portraits featured here not only represent the subjects, but also illustrate the styles and craftsmanship of the artists who created them.

Thus, when considering these portraits as works of art, the lives of the artists are just as important to the context of the artworks as the subjects. In some cases, the artists may have had a close friendship with their subjects, while others were simply commissioned to capture their likenesses. Either way, the artworks showcase the unique spirits of the subjects and artists.

These eight artworks created between 1924 and 2004 showcase a wide range of artistic styles, revealing artists Wilson Hurley, Brummett Echohawk, and Mike Wimmer's approaches to realism, Margaret LeFranc's avante garde and cubist style, William Posey Silva's impressionist brush and color work, and finally, Fritz Werner and William Whitaker's soft, classical realist styles. Each painted portrait was executed with oil paints, but utilizing a variety of techniques; some artists employed soft, small brushstrokes, while others approached the canvas with larger, more expressive brushwork.

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