Osage museum seeks input for project

Robert Smith
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

The Osage Nation Museum is planning to hold community meetings for tribal citizens Aug. 17-19, to allow them to continue to provide comments about a museum renovation and expansion project that is in the early planning stage.

The museum has scheduled meetings at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 17, at the Grayhorse Community Center; 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 18, at the Hominy Community Building; and 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 19, at Wakon Iron Hall in Pawhuska. The purpose is to allow the museum to continue to have dialogue with tribal citizens about future museum programming. Refreshments will be catered by Ah Tha Tse Catering.

The meetings next week will follow up on dinner gatherings held in May 2021 in Grayhorse, Hominy and Pawhuska, and the museum intends to report on findings from those dinners/dialogue sessions.

“Meeting participants will delve deeper into the museum-related topics and programs that are of interest to their community,” the museum said in a news release last week about the meetings. “The central goal of the renovation and expansion project is to protect and maintain the vibrancy of our Osage cultural heritage for future generations.”

Marla Redcorn-Miller, director of the museum, said an interpretive plan will be developed, and then a master plan. Selser Schaefer Architects of Tulsa is working with the museum on the master plan.

Selser Schaefer, in an online comment, has expressed a desire to develop a master plan for the museum expansion “that re-envisions and aligns the buildings and grounds with the museum’s mission, maximizing the everyday impact on tribal members and preserving the Nation’s history for generations to come.”

Redcorn-Miller said it will probably be early 2022 before it is known when the renovation and expansion work will be likely to begin.

The Osage Nation Congress appropriated $250,000 toward conceptual design work for the museum project in 2019, and another $250,000 in 2020 interpretive planning, pre-design services and master planning.

The Osage Nation Museum, which initially opened in 1938, is the oldest tribally owned museum in the United States. It is located at 819 Grandview Avenue in Pawhuska, in the Osage Nation governmental campus area.

The Osage Nation Museum has a community-based art exhibit titled “Voices from the Drum” on display until March 2022. The exhibit was initiated and produced by the Osage Nation Foundation and curated by the Osage Nation Museum. It celebrates the role of drums in Osage culture.