Honoring Oklahomans for their service, Anna B. Korn founded the Oklahoma Memorial Association and the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1927, but it wasn't until the early 1970's that a facility was finally dedicated to displaying busts and exhibits for the honorees. The Hefner Mansion was donated to house the exhibits, and the organization changed its name to the Oklahoma Heritage Association in 1971. Known as the Oklahoma Heritage House, the museum opened in 1972, and the association began publications a few years later to further recognize and celebrate contributions in the state.
In 2007, the Oklahoma Heritage Association moved to its current location, the historic Mid-Continent Life Insurance Building, constructed in 1928 but renovated extensively beginning in 2004 thanks to gifts from Edward L. Gaylord and T. Boone Pickens. Today, the museum features interactive, high-tech exhibits in order to "tell Oklahoma's story through its people."
Location & Directions
1400 Classen Drive
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
The Gaylord-Pickens Museum is located along Classen Drive at the corner of NW 13th Street and Shartel Avenue. It is just north of the Midtown area of Oklahoma City.
Permanent museum exhibits include:
- Oklahoma Through Its People Gallery - The interactive exhibit explores Oklahomans past and present, famous and not-so-famous.
- Edward L. Gaylord and T. Boone Pickens - Examines lives of the influential men by which the museum is named
- Bust Gallery - A tour of notable Oklahomans through bust sculptures
- ONEOK Tell Your Story - Record memories/experiences about your heritage and email them to yourself.
- Oklahoma Hall of Fame Gallery - The database of Hall of Fame members dates back to 1928
- Story of the Building - Learn the history of the museum building, originally constructed in 1927
Special exhibits are also available throughout the year, examining anything and everything related to Oklahoma heritage, from individuals to companies, medias and the arts.
Heritage Week Contest
Each year just before the statehood celebration in November, there is a competition for students in grades 3 through 12. According to organizers, it's a fun way for the kids to "embrace and honor their heritage." Cash prizes of up to $350 are awarded to the top 3 in each age group. For 2015, submissions are due by 5 p.m. on October 16th for one of the following age group categories:
- Grades 3-5: Make a poster depicting an Oklahoman, "native or current." Posters are judged, in part, on neatness and originality.
- Grades 6-8: Write an essay on the importance of an individual, living or deceased, from your county. According to the competition rules, well-known subjects should be avoided.
- Grades 9-12: Create an original video documentary on the impact of a native Oklahoman. According to the rules, a full list of sources must accompany the entry, and the video must be entirely original.
Full details and entry forms are available at online.
As with most museums, outside food and drink items, even including gum, are prohibited. In addition, photography, video and tape recording is not allowed without special permission.
Become a Member
As an Oklahoma Hall of Fame member, you are given discounts on publications, event invitations, admission passes and more, depending on the level of membership. Currently, there are more than 10 membership levels with costs ranging from $15 for students all the way up to a $10,000 Chairman's Circle membership.
Get level descriptions online for more information.