The Museum of the Red River opened in 1975 with a focus on regional archaeology. It supported local field research, often collaborating with agencies like the Oklahoma Archeological Survey or the U.S. Forest Service. At the same time, the Museum collected complementary material for educational purposes. In the 1980s, it ceased all field operations and returned any materials recovered under government contract to the appropriate agencies. It expanded its collecting interest to include art from the Americas, Africa, Asia and Pacific Islands.
Today, the Museum is home to over 30,000 objects. Nearly 80% were received as generous donations from individuals and families. The Museum also applies designated purchase funds to buy appropriate works as they become available. The remaining items are acquired from other institutions. As the largest exhibiting facility in the region, the Museum seeks to provide a broad aesthetic experience to its audience. Its diverse collection enables it to draw comparisons across a broad range of cultures. It also allows the Museum to highlight unique artistic devices and local traditions.
Recent Acquisitions offers a snapshot into the Museum’s diverse collection. The exhibit features a range of objects from Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands, as well as the Americas. All objects were received in 2017.
[Pictured: Turtle effigy bottle, ca. 250 B.C. – A.D. 250, Colima (West Mexico). Gift of Robert Chorost 11.75″ H x 12″ L.]