"Small Works, Great Wonders" is a museum show you can take home

4 minutes
"Pride of the Prairie II" by Patty Eckman

"Pride of the Prairie II" by Patty Eckman

If there’s one frustrating thing about museums, it’s that they won’t just sell you the art right off the walls.

“Oh, sure,” you say. “I hate when they won’t let me pull out cartoonishly large sacks of money to take home a piece by da Vinci.”


Okay, that’s not realistic for...any of us. I’m sure people who do have cartoonishly large sacks of money, the kind Ma Beagle and The Beagle Boys might steal from Scrooge McDuck, can actually walk into a museum and at least get a meeting about buying some heralded masterpiece.

"On the Horizon #10" by Stuart Sampson

"On the Horizon #10" by Stuart Sampson

You and me? Not so much. But that’s not necessarily the case at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, at least during the fourteenth annual Small Works, Great Wonders art sale that begins Nov. 8, 2019.

Two hundred and twenty-five works of art by one hundred and twenty-two artists will be on display...until they aren’t. See, it’s an art sale, and if it’s sold on opening night, it goes home with the buyer. Which means if you go by on Nov. 9 (it runs through the end of the month), there are bound to be several works missing.

Back to those cartoonish sacks of money. Art isn’t cheap—especially fine art, which describes everything in this sale—but these are smaller works and they come with smaller price tags. The works range in price from $395 to $12,500. Still not cheap, mind you, but definitely within reach.

Does size matter? Yes and no. Art has to fit somewhere, right? No use buying a painting or a sculpture if you can’t show it to people at your home or office. So while we’ve been conditioned to think that bigger works have more value, they certainly don’t have more meaning. Even a cursory glance at the Western-influenced art in Small Works, Great Wonders is proof enough that smaller pieces can have a major impact.

"Twister" by Kim Wiggins

"Twister" by Kim Wiggins

Another reason you ought to make it to the Nov. 8 sale, says museum communications strategist Gina Anderson, is that upwards of sixty artists whose works are featured on the walls will also be in attendance. Connecting to art doesn’t get more personal than meeting the person who created it.

Tickets for the opening night event are $65 for members and $75 for general admission, including cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and live music. For a full list of available art and prices, visit swgw.nationalcowboymuseum.org for more information.

Get There
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St Oklahoma City, OK 73111 or TravelOK.com
Written By
Greg Elwell

Greg worked for newspapers, medical research organizations, and government institutions before he joined *Oklahoma Today* as research editor in 2018. He also is the publisher of the website I Ate Oklahoma.

Greg Elwell
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