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Oklahoma State University

Museum FAQs

ABOUT THE MUSEUM

What is the admission cost? Free for everyone.  Admission is underwritten by generous OSU Museum of Art Advocates.  
See more questions.


ABOUT THE ART

What is in the OSU Museum of Art's permanent collection? With its broad scope, our collection offers a survey of global trends in the modern world, from the early nineteenth century to the late twentieth.  See more questions.


ABOUT THE BUILDING

Why is it called the Postal Plaza? The museum is located in the former Stillwater Post Office building. During the 1980s, the building was used as various office spaces and referred to as the "Postal Plaza."   See more questions.


WHEN VISITING THE MUSEUM

Can I take photos? Please ask one of the student staff members available in the gallery. The answer is different for each exhibition.  See more questions.

 

 

ABOUT THE MUSEUM

What is the admission cost?
Free for everyone.  Admission is underwritten by generous OSU Museum of Art Advocates.

 

When is the museum open?
Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am – 4 pm.  The museum is closed on most university holidays.

 

What is a teaching museum?
A place in which educators can teach from the art collection and students can receive a first-hand look at real pieces of art related to their study; not just pictures of the art. It’s also a place where students are an integral part of the museum life by serving in many capacities. 

 

What role do students play at the OSU Museum of Art?
Students play a vital role in every aspect of the museum's operation. We offer opportunities that allow students to be involved in all areas of museum work such as installing exhibitions, writing labels, working with faculty to design exhibitions, and helping with the day-to-day operations by serving as guards and working in visitor services positions. Click here to see more about our student staff.

 

Are there opportunities for volunteers?
Definitely! Click here.

 

What are the OSU Museum of Art Advocates?
Art Advocates are people committed to further developing the visual arts at Oklahoma State University, in Stillwater, and the surrounding region through the giving of time or funding. Learn more. 

 

Do we offer PK-12 programming?
The OSU Museum of Art is committed to supporting local educators by offering inquiry-based tours for students of all abilities. Learn more on this page or contact Carrie Kim (carrie.kim@okstate.edu) for further information.

 

Our Mission
Oklahoma State University Museum of Art is a teaching museum, passionately committed to providing opportunities for students to experience art through exhibitions and programs that enhance the academic mission of the university. In its galleries on campus and in the community, the OSU Museum of Art seeks to engage audiences with dynamic programs and access to a growing collection of original art that serves as a resource for the study of art and its history by the campus, community, and the people of Oklahoma.

 

Our Vision
Through the integration of works of art into the curriculum and the fabric of university life, the OSU Museum of Art endeavors to develop cultivated citizens of the world for whom art is a lifelong source of joy and insight to the human condition.

 


 

ABOUT THE ART

What kind of art is in the permanent collection?
We are a teaching museum and our collection reflects that mission: it began as a teaching collection, and it remains a valuable resource for faculty and students across the university. With its broad scope, our collection offers a survey of global trends in the modern world, from the early nineteenth century to the late twentieth. Within this range, we demonstrate relative strengths in American modernism, African art and design, and the material culture of the Mediterranean ancient world. Prominent areas of growth and expansion include contemporary Native American art and works on paper, including photography.  

 

What kind of art is on display at the museum?
We feature a variety of rotating exhibitions: some are from our permanent collection and some are made up of artwork that is on loan from other institutions or individuals. This allows us to showcase many types of diverse artwork throughout the year. Click here to see what is on view right now. 

 

Who is Malinda Berry Fischer and what kinds of things does the Malinda Berry Fischer Gallery feature?
Malinda Berry Fischer is the chair of our Art Advisory Council. She is also the Chairperson of Thomas N. Berry & Company and President of The Marietta Royalty Company. She has served as Chair of both The Strong Museum (Rochester, NY) and Sheerar Museum (Stillwater, OK) and is a member of the Oklahoma Arts Institute Board. She served as both Interim President & CEO and Chairman of the OSU Foundation. Currently, she is serving as Advisor to the OSU Doel Reed Center for the Arts (Taos, NM), the Oklahoma WONDERtorium (children's museum).

The naming of the north gallery inside the Postal Plaza as the "Malinda Berry Fischer Gallery" preserves the original honor of Fischer’s devoted service to the OSU Foundation and her service to the arts at OSU. This is a meaningful commitment to the establishment of OSU’s first Museum of Art as a teaching museum in service to students, staff, and the broader community. During the summer, exhibitions in the Malinda Berry Fischer Gallery are committed to supporting local artists by providing a premier venue to showcase artwork featuring local connections or regional flair. 

 

Can I propose an exhibition?
Yes. Visit this page to learn more. 

 


 

ABOUT THE BUILDING

Why is the OSU Museum of Art also sometimes called the Postal Plaza Gallery?
The museum is located in the former Stillwater Post Office building. During the 1980s, the building was used as various office spaces and referred to as the "Postal Plaza."  Since the renovation in 2010, it has often been referred to as the Postal Plaza Gallery.

 

Who is Rand Elliott and what role did Elliott + Associates play in this transformation from Post Office/Postal Plaza to art museum?
Rand Elliott is an OSU graduate and architect in Oklahoma City. Elliott and his team were awarded the contract to transform the building from the 1930’s WPA-era Post Office to the museum it is today.

Elliott + Associates recognized the historical significance of the Postal Plaza and brought to life their vision of the building as a teaching museum where the new and old collide, and the building is symbolic of a student – always evolving, always in the “continuum of becoming.” Much of the original building was left in place to serve as a reminder of this history and as a contrast to the new renovations. In some ways, the building looks “unfinished” (as was the architect’s intent) to represent that our students’ growth and our work at the museum will never be finished.

Visit our Museum History page to watch a video of Rand Elliott speaking about the building.

 

What are some special features of the building?
Glass doors into the collections archive and windows throughout the museum allow visitors to peek behind the scenes and observe students and staff in action. The idea of turning the art museum inside out and allowing everyone a look into the “back of the house” is extremely rare, and symbolizes our commitment to being a teaching museum and laboratory for learning. 

We have also left much of the original features of the building in place, including two Post Office vaults, the orange steel seen above the ceiling, the original floors and marble columns, and a catwalk that goes around the main gallery.

 

Who are John and Patsy Haws and why is the collection archive named after them?
John Haws graduated from OSU in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and later retired from Phillips Petroleum. Patsy Haws was a 1958 graduate of the OSU Spears College of Business. The OSU Foundation has received an estate gift from John and Patsy Haws, creating funds for the OSU Museum of Art. The collections archive at the OSU Museum of Art is home to the entire permanent collection of 3,000 objects. The space is designed so that students and faculty may use it for researching collection objects, as well as the history and artists associated with them.

 

How big is the John and Patsy Haws Collections Archive?
2,074 square feet.

 

Timeline:
1933: The WPA completed the Stillwater Post Office building.
1967: There was an addition to the building on the north side.
The facade of the original building can still be seen from some parts of the Malinda Berry Fischer gallery and collection archive. When standing in the Malinda Berry Fischer Gallery (in the northernmost part of the building), look up and toward the south. The exposed brick that can be seen is the outside of the original building. 
1978: The building stopped functioning as a Post Office.
June 2010: OSU Regents purchased the Postal Plaza for OSU’s art collection.
Dec. 2010: OSU Regents approved the renovation of the Postal Plaza building.
Feb. 2011: Elliott + Associates were selected as architects for the project and Manhattan OKC selected as construction managers.
Oct. 2011: Demolition began.
Oct. 2012: Design phase ended, construction phase began.
Jan. 2013: Victoria Berry was hired as OSU Museum of Art Director.
Sept. 2013: Art collection is moved into the building.
Oct. 2013: OSU Museum of Art began a soft opening phase.
Jan. 2014: OSU Museum of Art fully opened, introducing its first exhibition: Sharing a Journey: Building the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art Collection

 



 

WHEN VISITING THE MUSEUM

Can I take photos?
Please ask one of the museum associates in the gallery. The answer is different for each exhibition depending on whether the work belongs to the OSU Museum of Art or if we have permission from the artist and/or lendor.  

 

Can I schedule a tour?
Visit this page to learn more. 

 

Does it cost money?
Admission to the OSU Museum of Art (and all exhibitions and programs) is free, thanks to generous support from donors and community members.

 

Why are museum associates always standing in the gallery during my visit?
Our friendly museum associates (usually OSU students) are strategically located throughout the galleries so they can answer your questions, offer more information, and ensure the safety of the artwork during the hours we are open to the public.

However, we want you to feel comfortable at the museum and we believe there is no wrong way to look at art - so keep in mind that you are welcome to look around silently or strike up a casual conversation with them about the exhibition.  It's up to you! Our museum associates exist to make the museum experience better and we understand that can mean something different for each person.