Philbrook Leaving Downtown

Nov 26, 2019

Philbrook downtown is across the street from the Guthrie Green
Credit Google Street View

We may now know the location of the Bob Dylan archive. It could be housed downtown in what is now the Philbrook-Downtown Museum.

The life's work of Bob Dylan was purchased by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the University of Tulsa in 2016.

Philbrook  Museum emailed its patrons this morning saying it had opted to accept an offer from the George Kaiser Family Foundation to exit its lease agreement from the Arts District on June 30th of next year.  It said it was leaving to make room for the Dylan achive,  However, the museum will close much sooner. It will shut down on December 29th. It will take the next six months to relocate its artwork, library and archives to its main location.

No one was available from the Kaiser Foundation to confirm the announcement. In the spirit of disclosure, the Kaiser Foundation is a donor to this radio station. 

Read the Letter from Philbrook:

As a dedicated supporter of Philbrook, you should be among the first to know about exciting changes to come.

Philbrook’s Board and leadership, after thoughtful consideration, has elected to accept an offer from George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF) to exit the lease agreement for Philbrook Downtown on June 30, 2020 so the space may become the future home of The Bob Dylan Center. Philbrook Downtown will close to the public on December 29, 2019, after which the Museum will undertake the careful process of relocating the artwork, library, and archives to the main campus in midtown. This decision did not come easily, but is in the best interest of Philbrook financially and programmatically, both in the short and long term. 

We are thrilled to welcome The Bob Dylan Center to downtown Tulsa, a growing hub for American music and culture. We anticipate this addition will draw even more visitors to our friends and partner organizations in the Tulsa Arts District. Philbrook’s commitment to downtown will continue going forward, through pop-up programs and various partnerships in the District. 

By focusing on one location, Philbrook will greatly increase our capacity to fulfill our mission to make a creative and connected community through art and gardens. In addition, we will increase our commitment to Contemporary and Native art at the main campus, bringing bold new exhibitions, like Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists, opening June 28, 2020. This traveling exhibition has already received rave reviews in Forbes, The New York Times, and Vogue. Save the date. Make plans to join us for opening weekend!

It has been a privilege to be part of the Tulsa Arts District for the last six years. Thank you for helping us seize that opportunity, and for coming along with us as we build an exciting and dynamic future for Philbrook. Finally, I invite you to visit Philbrook Downtown before 12/29 to view two very different visions of Oklahoma through the photographs of Jason Lee and Larry Clark.

As always, I am here to answer any questions. Thank you for your understanding, and for your ongoing support of art, gardens, and the entire Tulsa community. 


Scott Stulen

CEO and President

Philbrook Museum of Art