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Artwork from Gilcrease Museum featured in presidential inauguration

Posted at 2:50 PM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-19 16:21:40-05

TULSA, Okla. — Gilcrease Museum announced a piece of artwork from their collection is being featured in the 59th presidential inauguration.

“Gilcrease Museum is first and foremost an institute of American History and Art, as such we are honored to be a part of this historic day,” said Susan Neal, executive director of Gilcrease Museum. “We are pleased that our collection is being represented at the Capital during this momentous occasion.”

The U.S. Senate Historical Office selected the piece, "Lewis and Clark with Sacajawea at the Great Falls of the Missouri 1804" by Olaf Seltzer, to show Sacagawea's role in the exploration of the Louisiana Purchase and the Pacific Northwest.

Seltzer's painting portrays Sacagawea, Captain Meriwether Lewis, Lieutenant William Clark and his slave, York, overlooking the Great Falls of the Missouri River. They reached the river in 1805, despite the painting's title.

“Sacagawea’s role in the narrative of Lewis and Clark’s expedition is often romanticized, but her significance as an intelligent and diplomatic Agaidika Shoshone woman is crucial to this history,” said Dr. Chelsea Herr, the Jack and Maxine Zarrow curator for Indigenous art and culture at Gilcrease Museum. “She took advantage of the opportunity to serve as an interpreter for the expedition, drawing on her fluency in both Shoshone and Hidatsa to navigate cultural terrains from North Dakota to the Pacific Ocean.”

Seltzer's piece will be on display at Gilcrease Museum, starting Jan. 20, 2021 in the "Americans All!" exhibition. The exhibition celebrates over 250 years of American art created by 26 immigrant artists.

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