Pioneer Woman Museum
The Pioneer Woman Museum (image from Ponca City official site)
Kitchen exhibit (image from Trip Advisor)
Pioneer Woman Statue (image from Oklahoma Historical Society)
Backstory and Context
Oklahoma Governor Ernest Whitworth Marland held a design competition in 1926 for a statue dedicated to pioneer women. Bryant Baker, an English immigrant who had served in the U.S. Army during the First World War, won by a wide margin with his design, which he entitled Confidence. The dedication took place on April 22, 1930, the anniversary of the first Oklahoma land run . When, in the 1950s, an accompanying museum was planned, architect Rand Elliott fronted the building with a copper awning to echo the statue's sunbonnet. Stamped through the copper are the words I see no boundaries [1; 2].
Opened in 1958, the Pioneer Woman Museum is dedicated to women who have
contributed to Oklahoma's development. In addition to displays of everyday
household items used by pioneer women, the museum features an exhibit dedicated
to women journalists and a Walk of Fame showcasing Oklahoma women who broke new
ground [1; 2]. Some of the women in the Walk of Fame include historian Angie
Debo, whose groundbreaking works on Western history were some of the first to
address the mistreatment of Native Americans by the U.S. government; civil
rights activist and educator Clara Luper; journalist and Oklahoma first lady
Elva Shartel Ferguson; and aviator and NASA trainee Gerrie Cobb . Craft
demonstrations and special exhibits are also held in the facility, which was
expanded in 1998 .
2. Ponca City. "Pioneer Woman Museum." Accessed February 3, 2018. http://www.poncacity.com/attractions/pioneer_woman_museum.htm.
3. Travel Oklahoma. "Pioneer Women Museum Video." Accessed February 7, 2018. https://www.travelok.com/listings/view.profile/id.5920.