The New Art: A Milestone Collection Fifty Years Later

In 1968, the Oklahoma Art Center, OKCMOA’s predecessor, purchased the 154-piece permanent collection of the Washington Gallery of Modern Art (WGMA), the first art museum in the nation’s capital dedicated to the collection of contemporary art. That decision proved deeply consequential for the Oklahoma City arts community as it ensured that this city would maintain major collections of Abstract Expressionism, Post-Painterly Abstraction, Color Field Painting, Minimalism, and Pop Art. The New Art: A Milestone Collection Fifty Years Later honors this extraordinary collection on this major anniversary, presenting longstanding Museum highlights by Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Diebenkorn, Grace Hartigan, Sam Gilliam, Robert Indiana, and Paul Reed among many others, along with the rarely shown works by Morris Louis, Adaline Kent, Lee Bontecou, Michel Guino. The New Art offers a comprehensive view of the WGMA collection, highlighting twentieth century masterpieces and celebrating the history of one of the nation’s most important modern art institutions. 


Special Programming:

The New Art Members’ Preview
Thursday, February 15, 5-9 pm
(Members-only event)

Special Drop-In Art Session
Saturday, March 10, 1-4 pm
Paul Reed-Inspired Collages: Stop in and create a large-scale collage inspired by Paul Reed’s painting, No. 17.

Paul Reed Collection Preview for Sustainer Members
Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 5:30-6 pm
Reception with Remarks by President and CEO in 
Founders’ Hall
6-7:30 pm: Guided tours of the collection storage vault and the Paul Reed Collection will be provided.

Public Exhibition Tour
Sunday, March 18, 2 pm
Celebrate Paul Reed Month at OKCMOA with a guided tour The New Art: A Milestone Collection Fifty Years Later. This tour will focus on paintings by Washington Color School artists, including Paul Reed’s No. 17 from his first stained series, “Mandala.” Responding to gestural paintings, and offering a new chapter in abstract art, this group were originally featured in the traveling exhibition The Washington Color Painters, organized by the Washington Gallery of Modern Art in 1965.

Pre-registration recommended. Purchase tickets at Free for members; $15 for non-members.

Gene Davis (American, 1920–1985). Cool Staccato, 1964. Acrylic on canvas. Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Museum purchase, Washington Gallery of Modern ArtCollection, 1968.134. ©Estate of Gene Davis