Making Art History

The University of Oklahoma’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art has long been home to well-regarded art collections that would do any museum proud. Now, after several years of construction, the museum’s new Stuart Wing will finally afford the opportunity to display some of the world’s premier objects of art to the public – and put the Fred Jones Museum on the map of the art world.

Designed by renowned architect Rand Elliott, the Stuart Wing expands the original 1971 building to encompass some 40,000 total square feet of exhibit space. The new addition will showcase one of the latest gems in the museum’s possession: the famed Eugene B. Adkins Collection. Jointly stewarded by the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art and Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum of Art, the $50 million collection gathers more than 3,300 objects of Native American art, including pottery, jewelry, silverwork and more. The Adkins Gallery alone encompasses some 7,800 square feet of the wing, which also will include a grand staircase leading up to a mezzanine level housing a 4,300-square-foot photography gallery and rotating exhibits.

The wing is named for OU Board of Regents member Jon Stuart and his wife, Dee Dee, longtime benefactors of the university and museum who contributed the lead gift to raise funds for the addition through the Stuart Family Foundation.

“The Stuart Wing is very important for the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art and the University of Oklahoma because it provides the space that is necessary to display the many collections the university has acquired over the past 15 years,” says Ghislain d’Humières, the Wylodean and Bill Saxon Director of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.

“The Stuart Wing also gives the university the capacity to welcome traveling exhibitions on a state-of-the-art and professional level that puts it in an international class for upcoming collaborations with museums from around the world.”

The Stuart Wing will open to the public with free admission on Saturday, Oct. 22. A grand opening celebration, which also is free and open to the public, will kick off from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23. For more information, visit www.ou.edu/fjjma.