TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa will begin a $65 million renovation by examining how it can enhance its visitors' experiences.
Construction on the renovation to the fine art and American history museum won't begin for at least two years, but the Gilcrease National Advisory Board has endorsed a study of how the museum can best serve its visitors, the Tulsa World reported.
The study will be conducted by a museum planning and design firm, Gallagher & Associates. Gretchen Coss, a Gallagher senior associate, said it will aim to come up with a plan that helps visitors best appreciate and understand the museum's collection.
"Instead of designing the building first and then putting things in it, when you design a museum or a visitor's experience, what happens inside drives the architecture," Coss said. "The shape of it, the size of it, where the windows and lighting go, what are the ceiling heights.
The museum opened in 1949 and was donated to Tulsa in 1954. The University of Tulsa has operated it in partnership with the city for nearly 10 years.
Gilcrease Executive Director Susan Neal said she's pleased the university decided to hire the museum planning and design firm.
"The most important thing a museum can do for itself is know what it is, have its identity very clear so that it can communicate, so that it can interpret its collection, it can market its collection, and can program its collection," Neal said. "And that is why it is so important that we do this, with or without an expansion."