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Major funding milestone achieved for Gilcrease Museum's grand reopening in 2026

Gilcrease Museum construction. (KTUL)
Gilcrease Museum construction. (KTUL)
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Progress on funding the Gilcrease Museum reaches a major milestone. Construction has been underway since July 2021.

Gilcrease Museum is set to reopen in 2026 and thanks to private funding, officials say they're on track.

"All of that work will come together after this funding package is just completely bonded to the city," said Frank Mulhern the Chief Development and Revenue Officer at Gilcrease Museum.

Mulhern says a new and improved Gilcrease Museum will have a lot to offer.

"Going forward, we're going to really integrate into the collection, which includes fine art paintings and sculpture documents and anthropological objects," said Mulhern.

The new-and-improved building will also have more outdoor spaces.

"We will actually have a couple of exterior terraces for people to enjoy the outdoors on. We'll have opportunities for people to step out of the museum and get a breath of fresh air," said Mulhern.

The old building closed its doors in 2021 after issues with the integrity of the building.

"We found out after architects and engineers looked at the original building, that there were a lot of issues," said Mulhern.

For these improvements to be made, funds needed to be raised for the final phase of the $139.2 million package.

Mulhern, says they reached out to the philanthropic community in town for help, this is all prior to the Improve our Tulsa package that voters passed in August.

"We had about $20 million remaining, and the city said that they would include us in that package, assuming that it passed the city council approval," said Mulhern.

Mulhern says this agreement was made with the understanding that the museum would raise the final $10 million privately.

Something that Mulhern and his team have now accomplished.

"We were able to secure the final $10 million to meet that match and wrap up the project," said Mulhern.

Which Mulhern says will be worth the wait.

"Not just creating the museum for the sake of creating a museum. But to really make it something that Tulsans and people in the region want to come to that," said Mulhern.

Even though the Gilcrease Museum won’t open its doors until 2026, they have programs that extend beyond their walls.

One of those is “Gilcrease in Your Neighborhood” which is where they display one high-quality art piece in 31 Tulsa locations at once.


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