New Gilcrease Museum Executive Director Tours Construction Site Ahead Of April Start Date

The new executive director of the Gilcrease Museum took a tour of the museum's construction on Friday.

Friday, February 23rd 2024, 10:16 pm

By: News On 6, Jordan Tidwell


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The new executive director of the Gilcrease Museum took a tour of the museum's construction Friday.

Brian Lee Whisenhunt was born and raised in Tulsa and says he's been working toward this job his entire life.

He says he grew up going to the Gilcrease Museum, and now being the new executive director is an honor.

Places like the Gilcrease Museum are what Whisenhunt says give communities character.

"Really helps people to understand where they are, it helps them to understand themselves, the world around them, and our history," he said.

After working at a museum in Corning, New York, Brian will now be the new executive director of the Gilcrease Museum.

He says once all of the construction is complete, he's excited to show off the museum to Tulsa.

"With the reopening of the museum really strengthening the connection that the museum already has with the Tulsa communities, and just building on that and creating programming, exhibition schedules, events, activities," he said.

He says he wants to focus on giving people an experience when they visit Gilcrease and part of that experience is expanding the different ways they can use the museum's grounds.

"Currently the museum I work at has no grounds, we're landlocked, so I'm really excited to have the opportunity to expand my thinking back to a property that is pretty limitless, with 460 acres, there's so much the Gilcrease can do in so many different ways," he said.

Whisenhunt says one positive of the new space is how they can show off the majority of the museum's collection, but plans to make sure there is always something new to see.

"People say, 'Well I went there in fourth grade, I don't need to go back,' so we want to create a reason that draws them back, that invites them to return so that they know it's not going to be that same experience that they had, there will always be something new to consider, a new artwork, a new exhibition," he said.

He will officially begin his new role as executive director on April 15.

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