THE PIONEER WOMAN MUSEUM
The Pioneer Woman Museum showcases the history of women in Oklahoma and
their influence on the development of the state and nation and preserves
the legacy of women from all races, creeds, and nationalities who have made
significant contributions to the history of Oklahoma. The world-famous 30
ft. tall bronze statue commemorating the heroic character of the women who
braved dangers and hardships to settle in Oklahoma is featured.
In 1957, ground was broken for construction of a 3000 sq. ft. museum to
feature the relics of pioneer life. The Pioneer Woman Museum was dedicated
on September 16, 1958, with a dedicatory address by Governor Raymond Gary.
In 1991 the Pioneer Woman Museum came under the direction of the Oklahoma
Historical Society and in 1996, a major expansion project began. The
Pioneer Woman Museum was rededicated in April 1998 with the completion of
the expansion project, adding 7000 sq. ft. (for a total of 10,000 sq. ft.)
to the building.
The Pioneer Woman now features exhibits showcasing women who have pioneered
in various fields throughout Oklahoma’s history, up to the present day;
educational activities for young and old; and information and artifacts
about the daily life of Oklahoma’s Cherokee Strip homesteaders.
Regarding the Pioneer Woman
Museum, Architect Rand Elliott states,
The structure should not be a statement of current fashion, but instead
possess a timeless architectural quality that ages gracefully. A museum
must be a structure whose integrity is a proud example of the collection it
houses, and in this particular case, it must be a reflection of the spirit
of the Pioneer Woman Statue itself.
Because the sunbonnet is such a strong symbol of the pioneering women of
history, Elliot envisioned the copper-lined entrance to the museum as being
representative of the statue’s bronze sunbonnet. Punched through the top of
the 20-foot tall copper bonnet are 12-inch letters, which read, “I SEE NO
BOUNDARIES.” The mirrored glass door reflects Bryant Baker’s Pioneer Woman
Statue as you approach the entrance.