Visitors to Oklahoma City have the opportunity to see The Art of Golf, the first-ever exhibition devoted to the game by a major American art museum. Comprising approximately 90 works from artists as diverse as Rembrandt, Charles Lees, Norman Rockwell, and Andy Warhol, The Art of Golf examines the game’s origins, its foundation in Scotland, and its growth in America in the twentieth century.
The exhibition explores the depth and richness of the history of the sport, beginning with early Dutch landscape and genre paintings of the seventeenth century depicting kolf, a cousin of the modern game. Also included are series of iconic Scottish golfing portraits from the National Galleries of Scotland.
The centerpiece of the exhibition is known as the greatest golfing painting in the world: Charles Lees’ The Golfers, which portrays in detail a match played on the Old Course at St. Andrews in 1847. Jointly owned by the National Galleries of Scotland and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, this masterpiece has never before traveled to the United States, though reproductions of it hang in golf clubhouses around the world. Displayed alongside the painting are several preparatory sketches, all portraits of individuals who can be identified in the painting, and an early photograph by Hill and Adamson to which Lees referred as he composed his painting.
Moving into the early twentieth century, the exhibition presents a series of elegant golfing scenes by Sir John Lavery, which capture the chic glamour and appeal of the game in the Roaring Twenties. The exhibition also features a special section on legendary American hero and Atlanta native Robert Tyre “Bobby” Jones, Jr. (1902–71), who popularized golf on the international stage.
The Art of Golf closes with a series of aerial photographs by Patricia and Angus Macdonald, newly commissioned by the National Galleries of Scotland, which capture the beauty of iconic Scottish golf courses and explores the effects that human activity has had on the land.
Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art is located in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City and presents exhibitions drawn from throughout the world to over 130,000 visitors annually. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (May-October), Sunday 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students, $5 for military, and free for children five and under.
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