By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The Gaylord-Pickens Museum is hosting America’s Road Exhibits: The Journey of Route 66, presented by Dolese Bros. Company now through August 29. This show shares the history and enchantment of one of the world’s most famous highways.
The exhibition includes photographs, narrative, music and objects from the highway’s pinnacle.
The opening reception was held on Thursday, May 7 at the Museum located at NW 13th and Shartel in Oklahoma City.
“America’s Road: The Journey of Route 66 is an interactive exhibition guiding visitors to a greater understanding of The Mother Road,” aid Gallery Manager, Marissa Raglin. “Through visitor activities and images, visitors will be able to see a detailed history of Route 66 as it runs through all eight states.
“Placing additional emphasis on Oklahoma, there are eight original watercolors on display by Newkirk, Oklahoma artist, Caryl Morgan,” Raglin said. “These watercolors feature some of the most memorable Route 66 landmarks in our state, providing a greater understanding of the rich culture that The Mother Road brought to our state.”
These original works, made exclusively for the Gaylord-Pickens Museum, are available for purchase along with prints in the Museum Store for the duration of the exhibit.
“American travel is making a comeback because the economy has dictated the need to streamline budgets,” said Morgan. “The family vacation is no longer a plane trip to an exotic beach but is as simple as hopping into the car and away you go with adventure opportunities everywhere along the winding road.”
Route 66 is in a way a time capsule of the American experience. Nearly every aspect of 20th century United States history is reflected in the story of the people and events along the Mother Road.
Even today, those who explore Route 66 today can still experience the Main Street of America. Nearly a hundred years of highway culture can be found, through nostalgic relics and restored ruins.
Each year thousands of people from around the country and the world drive all or portions of the Route to discover a bit of America’s history. Stretching 2,448 miles and crossing through eight states, Route 66 traces the migration of people from the Midwest to the Pacific coast.
The nation’s longest drivable stretch of Route 66, over 400 miles, goes through Oklahoma.
Guests will learn the process of constructing the highway from Dolese Bros. Co., whose products have paved many of Oklahoma’s highways, including Route 66.
On Saturday, May 9, free tours were offered to celebrate the Museums eighth anniversary. Activities throughout the day included free Community Yoga with an instructor from This Land yoga, food trucks, an inflatable, crafts, and face painting as well as access to the Route 66 exhibit.
The Gaylord-Pickens Museum, home of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, features high-tech, interactive exhibits. Through video-driven displays and touch-screen computers, visitors meet Oklahomans such as country music superstar Reba McEntire, ballerina Maria Tallchief, aviation innovator Wiley Post, historian John Hope Franklin and others who have shaped the history of Oklahoma.
For more information about the America’s Road: The Journey of Route 66 exhibit and/or events in conjunction with the exhibit, visit oklahomaheritage.com or call 405-523-3231.