Winter 2018

A Shared Vision for the Future of Gilcrease

Director's Report

Susan Neal
Susan Neal

At a recent design charrette led by Dr. Jack Crowley, professor of Urban Design at the University of Georgia, Gilcrease staff and the Gilcrease National Advisory Board were invited to share their thoughts on guiding principles to inform the museum’s future expansion. The report that will result from this two-day design exercise will guide the City of Tulsa in developing the request for qualifications to be released in early 2018 for consideration by interested architect design teams.

The process for architect consideration and selection will require approximately six months. During this time, another process — of equal importance to the design itself — will take place. Through traditional and social media, the Gilcrease Museum website, focus groups, surveys and outreach, staff will engage our community in a conversation to learn what people treasure about Gilcrease, what they’d like to see more of in the expanded Gilcrease, and how we can better serve our real “boss” — the citizens of Tulsa — through the museum’s expansion. Through its ownership and the recent investment of $65 million in future development, the museum’s managing partner, The University of Tulsa, has placed the citizens of Tulsa at the very top of the Gilcrease organization chart.

In addition to the many audiences who already know and love Gilcrease, we know we have an opportunity, as well as an obligation, to cultivate and nurture new audiences here at home, nationally and internationally. Beginning in December, visitors will be invited to give us their BEST ideas — what we should Begin, Enhance, Stop or Think about doing to make their experience at Gilcrease fun, memorable and meaningful.

The breadth and significance of the Gilcrease collection is powerful enough to transform people’s lives, helping each of us to better understand ourselves, our history, and most importantly, one another. Gilcrease is more than a once-in-a-lifetime experience. While it is a front door to the world and uniquely positions Tulsa on the art stage nationally and internationally, it is also our community’s living room — a place where all Tulsans are welcome to explore and make their own discoveries.

I hope you’ll join the conversation and give us your BEST ideas for Gilcrease. You’ll be hearing more from us on the many channels through which you can share your input; but in the meantime, feel free to contact us on our website at It was our community’s shared vision that ensured Thomas Gilcrease’s collection would be enjoyed by generations to come when the museum was deeded to the City of Tulsa in 1955 and our shared vision to support its expansion, so it will continue to reflect Tulsans’ shared vision for our city’s successful future.

Kindest regards,

Susan Neal

Susan Neal
TU Vice President for Public Affairs,
Economic Development and
Chief Operating Officer for Gilcrease Museum