Due to a fire in early January, the Osage County Historical Society Museum has been closed to the public with its artifacts in temporary storage.

But on Saturday afternoon, Dr. Bob Pickering and his wife, Mari, visited Pawhuska and with several representatives of the historical Depot Museum. The Pickerings were hosted by OCHS Museum Curator Barbara Pease, President Jack Shoemate, Secretary Patty Gambill, and Director Frederick Drummond.

Pickering is Director of Curatorial Affairs & Public Programs for Gilcrease Museum and Director of the University of Tulsa’s Museum Science and Management. The purpose of his visit was to offer suggestions to help the OCHS Museum in its recovery efforts.

Pickering was impressed with the progress made thus far.

"The new museum is going to provide some exciting new opportunities," he said.

He also offered contact information for help in designing new exhibitions, and made reference to Cheryl Smallwood-Roberts, who designed an exhibition for the Katy Depot Museum in Checotah. Pickering was responsible for connecting the Osage County Historical Museum with two University of Tulsa students who will be working with Pease this summer in readying exhibits for the renovated museum.

Pickering also provided potential artifact contacts, particularly regarding the Museum’s gun collection, peace medals and swords. He also said the fire strengthens the museum’s qualifications for a digitization grant and indicated funds may be available from the Institute of Museum and Library Services or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

"You all are doing a great job. I’m very impressed by what has already been accomplished," he said. "I’ll be happy to help as time allows."