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The University of Oklahoma’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is one of the finest university art museums in the United States. Strengths of the nearly 16,000-object permanent collection (including the approx. 3,300-object Eugene B. Adkins Collection and the approx. 4,500-object James T. Bialac Native American Art Collection) are the Weitzenhoffer Collection of French Impressionism, 20th century American painting and sculpture, traditional and contemporary Native American art, art of the Southwest, ceramics, photography, contemporary art, Asian art and graphics from the 16th century to the present. Temporary exhibitions are mounted throughout the year that explore the art of various periods and cultures.
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Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art Reviews
A little overwhelmed by how much there was to see. Lots of good displays. Some items were very interesting. more »
What a great treasure we have in our community. Whether its going to see a new exhibit or to review their permanent collection the Fred Jones Jr, Museum of Art is a true Treasure. It's always free adm... more »
Good collection of Native American sculptures, pottery, baskets and paintings. Also contains minor works by famous impressionist artists. Reasonable hours and free! more »
Overzealous security officers at the Fred Jones Museum in Norman, Oklahoma have made visiting the museum such an unpleasant and distasteful experience for me that I no longer feel welcome at the museum. I think the security officers at the museum need to be more customer focused and help visitors enjoy the museum experience rather than trying to catch and reprimand them for doing something wrong. Let me explain. I do not live in Norman, Oklahoma but I have enjoyed visiting art museums around the world. I know something about bronzes, the lost wax method of casting, and my wife and I have had a number of bronzes cast at Bronze Horse Foundry in Pawhuska for our personal collection. I am especially interested in works by Allan Houser and have visited his foundry and outdoor sculpture gardens in Southern Santa Fe County in New Mexico. The Fred Jones Museum has two Housers that are among my favorites: "Dance of the Mountain Spirit" and "As Long as the Waters Flow" that I particularly enjoy. Wednesday, September 27, 2017 was a rainy and overcast day in Norman, Oklahoma and in my experience that is the best time to visit a museum because the public stays away on days like this. I was right. When I arrived there were only two patrons (including myself) on the main floor of the museum and about a half a dozen security officers. I felt like I had the entire museum to myself. But the one downside is that when patrons are outnumbered three to one by guards it always makes me feel a little uncomfortable because several guards hover over each patron which I find breaks the spell of silent contemplation in a sacred space. I went to Houser's "As Long as the Waters Flow" and stood in front of it contemplating the piece for several minutes. The bronze itself is displayed in very subdued light which makes it difficult to observe the fine detail in the piece so I took out a small pocket-size penlight that I always carry in my shirt pocket and directed the light to her face so I could study the detail around her eyes. Two security officers who had been following me immediately descended on me. "Sir, you will have to put that away. It is not permitted in the museum," barked one of the guards. "I'm 68 years old and my eyes are not as good as they once were," I replied. "I was observing a detail in the bronze. Do you really think that shining a light on a bronze is going to damage it?" I replied. "It is against the rules of the museum," came the reply, "and you will have to stop immediately." I have seen bronzes out of doors in direct sunlight even at the Fred Jones Museum and there seems to be no concern that the sunlight will damage the patina. I could understand the damage a penlight could do to a painting but I fail to understand the damage a penlight could do to a bronze. If there are specific rules about photographing pieces or shining penlights on bronzes then these rules should be posted. Finally, even if it is indeed a rule at Fred Jones Museum that no penlights can be used to study the museum's bronzes, then I still think the entire incident could have been handled more diplomatically. The encounter has left a bad taste in my mouth and the brusque manner I was accosted upset me and spoiled the museum experience for me. I would feel unwelcome and uncomfortable visiting the Fred Jones Museum again and I would not recommend the museum to any art patron who hopes to enjoy the silent contemplation and study of fine art in Oklahoma.
The first time I visited this Remarkable Museum, I was overcome with the immense variety and Awesome Artists' works showcased here. Best little secret in Norman!!
They have a childrens story time and coloring area... Then your children get griped at for touching the walls... Then you get griped at if you put your toddler on your shoulders to keep them away from the art. Just not a good place to take toddlers. Honestly, I would probably enjoy visiting without children, but I would not recommend their story hour.
Enjoyed myself a great deal. Its amazing what treasures one can find close to home.
Awesome place! We really enjoyed the Native American Photograph exhibit along with the other pieces.
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