Philbrook Museum

Tulsa, Oklahoma | C.1927

Photo Credit: Philbrook Museum of Art

Before the 25 acre Philbrook Museum became a renowned museum for its Renaissance and Baroque collections, it was a 1920s villa of Oklahoma oil pioneer Waite Phillips. Edward Buehler Delk designed this home with 72 rooms like an Italian masterpiece will travertine and marble adornments, teak floors, and walnut and oak ceilings.

Phillips and his family decided to donate the villa to the town of Tula, Oklahoma in 1938 in the hopes that the estate would be used for “art and cultural purposes.” One year later, the Philbrook Museum opened its doors with permanent collections from the Tulsa Art Association and the villa’s personal collection.

Some of the highlights of the Museum’s permanent collection include Renaissance and Baroque paintings from the Kress Foundation, donated in 1961. In addition, one of the greatest surveys of Native American art anywhere, American and Southwestern art, photography, and growing modern and contemporary collections.

Philbrook’s branding is also noteworthy, as it was made possible by the legacy design agency Pentagram. The “P”-shaped logo had a dual inspiration: it resembles a human head, the subject of many artists’ works, and defines the area of Tulsa occupied by the Museum and its downtown satellite building.

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