By Ammie Bryant, Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History Director
On March 8, the Stillwater Public Library kicked off its new community-wide reading event “Two Books, One Community Stillwater Reads The Great Gatsby and Fire in Beulah.” The Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History staff and board of trustees are proud to once again partner with the Library–as well as Mount Zion Baptist Church–to present a community-wide reading event accompanied by book discussions, programs, events, and an exhibit. Since 2007, the Museum has partnered with the Stillwater Public Library, along with various community partners and sponsors, to present community-wide reading events. Sometimes that has simply meant that the Museum hosted book discussions while for other programs, the Museum developed exhibits and hosted additional programs.
This year’s books offered the perfect opportunity to present an exhibit on the history of “Stillwater in the 1920s.” The reading event kicked off on Tuesday, March 8, at the Stillwater Public Library in the afternoon followed by a second event hosted at Brooklyn’s–both events experienced record attendance with over 200 participants. Two days after the kick off, the Museum opened its new exhibit “Stillwater in the 1920s: The Rural Upswing” to over 150 in visitors at the exhibit opening reception as well as the program following the reception presented by Dr. Jim Showalter about the history of the KKK in Payne County.
In April, the Museum will host additional programming in conjunction with the community-wide reading event and exhibit. Museum Board Trustees Gladeen Allred and Roger Moore will lead two book discussions at the Sheerar Museum. Additional discussions are available all around town, see the Stillwater Public Library for locations, dates, and times.
The Museum will also host a program on Saturday, April 16 at 2pm presented by Dr. Michael Rabens about Art Deco Architecture. Professor Rabens holds a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies (1982) and a Master of Architecture (1984) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as M.F.A. (1987) and Ph.D. (1992) degrees in art history from Princeton University. He has taught at a number of institutions, including the University of Missouri (Columbia and Kansas City campuses), Kansas State University, the University of Florida, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. He joined the faculty of Oklahoma State University in 2005.
“Stillwater in the 1920s” will remain on view through the summer. The Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History is located at 702 S. Duncan St. Admission is free and hours of operation are Tuesday-Friday 11am-5pm and Saturdays and Sundays 1-4pm.