Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in GREAT PLAINS QUARTERLY 26:1 (Winter 2006) Copyright © 2006 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


All who study the visual culture of the American West are familiar with the vast holdings of the Gilcrease Museum. This excellent introduction to the museum consists of five essays on its component collections. The introduction to Thomas Gilcrease himself (1890-1962) chronicles his mixed ethnicity (born of European and Muskogee-Creek heritage, he was enrolled as a Creek) and his success in the oil business. His several decades of avidly collecting the American objects, paintings, and manuscripts that would become the Gilcrease Museum (which initially opened in San Antonio, before moving to Tulsa in 1949) is told in a lively though brief essay.