OKCMOA and Beaux Arts Society celebrate 75 years of partnership

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Board members and staff of the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (OKCMOA), former kings, chairs and committee members of the Beaux Arts Ball and other prominent figures from the local arts community gathered at the OKCMOA to celebrate the 75-year partnership between Fine Arts and the museum.

To celebrate this long-term partnership, Beaux Arts generously donated $120,000 to the museum.

The evening took place around an elegant cocktail during which the guests learned about the Fine Arts works in progress at the Museum. OKCMOA President and CEO Michael J. Anderson opened the event by expressing his gratitude to past and present members of the Fine Arts Committee for their leadership and vision in cultivating a rich art collection and colorful for the Oklahoma City community.

“We are forever grateful for the support the Fine Arts Committee has given the museum over the past 75 years, and this year’s generous contribution is no exception,” said Anderson. “So many of the museum’s most famous and dynamic works have been funded by Beaux Arts, including the beloved 55-foot-tall Chihuly Tower in our lobby. This special collection is the lasting legacy of the museum and will continue to benefit the community for years to come.

Other attendees at the reception included Karen Raupe, 2022 Fine Arts President; Cynda Ottaway, Past Chair of the OKCMOA Board of Directors; Christian Keesee, president of the Kirkpatrick Bank and the Kirkpatrick Foundation, and grandson of Eleanor Kirkpatrick, organizer and first president of the Beaux Arts Ball.

“My grandmother, Eleanor Kirkpatrick, dedicated herself to making OKCMOA the premier arts institution in the region,” Mr. Keesee said. “I know she would be so proud of how far the museum has come and am incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported the efforts of Fine Arts over the past 75 years.

The partnership between Beaux Arts and the museum began in 1945 with a costume fundraiser to benefit OKCMOA’s predecessor, the Oklahoma Art Center. Since then, Beaux Arts has contributed over $1 million for fine art acquisitions to OKCMOA. Installations funded through this program include the 55-foot-tall Chihuly Tower, one of the museum’s most critically acclaimed pieces, outstanding works by American Impressionists like Childe Hassam, collections of important Surrealists and Magical Realists of the Next Generation, and countless other works that embody a playful, eclectic energy and inspire all who experience them.

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