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Oklahoma State University

Museum History

The Postal Plaza was constructed in 1933 as part of a government-sponsored program known as the WPA.  It served as a Federal Post Office until 1978. The Postal Plaza then became the home to a collection of law offices, congressional offices, businesses, and religious youth programs. A timeline of the building can be found on our FAQ page.

Meanwhile, OSU had been collecting art since the 1930s, thanks to former Art Department head Doel Reed. (To learn more about Doel Reed, click here.) Over time, the collection had outgrown its home at the Art Department and Gardiner Gallery. In June 2010, the OSU Regents approved the purchase of the Postal Plaza to serve as a permanent home for the art collection and the site for the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art.

By February 2011, architectural firm Elliott + Associates had begun the renovation. The project was completed in August 2013. Many of the building’s original design features were left exposed to represent the symbolism that much like a student’s growth, our work at the museum would never be finished. In October 2013, the OSU Museum of Art opened its doors to the public in a soft opening phase. The first official exhibition, Sharing a Journey: Building the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art Collection, opened January 2014 and featured highlights from the permanent collection.