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date: 08 December 2019

Gilcrease, (William) Thomaslocked

(b Robeline, LA, Feb 8, 1890; d Tulsa, OK, May 6, 1962).
  • Anne R. Morand

Extract

(b Robeline, LA, Feb 8, 1890; d Tulsa, OK, May 6, 1962).

American oil magnate, patron and collector. He started the Gilcrease Oil Company in 1922 on land he had received in the Indian land allotments before the creation of the State of Oklahoma in 1907. With the profits from his company Gilcrease began collecting material relating to the development of American culture in the late 1930s. Of partly Indian descent, he felt he owed a debt to the Indian heritage that had allowed him to obtain his wealth. He therefore specialized in collecting the art of the American West, acquiring over 200 works each by George Catlin, Alfred Jacob Miller and Thomas Moran. At the time of his death Gilcrease owned over 10,000 works of art (paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture) by over 400 American artists, spanning 500 years. The art collections were supplemented by large anthropological and archival sections. In 1955 Gilcrease deeded his collection to the City of Tulsa. He eventually gave the museum building and the acreage surrounding it, so as to form the Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art....

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