Will Rogers Memorial Museum, Cherokee Heritage Center to host exhibit

BY STAFF REPORTS
11/21/2019 12:30 PM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Will Rogers Memorial Museums Executive Director Tad Jones, left, and Tribal Councilor Keith Austin prepare for the opening of a Will Rogers exhibit that was previoulsy on display at the Cherokee Heritage Center. The public is invited to the exhibit opening on Nov. 22 at the Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Claremore. COURTESY
CLAREMORE – The Will Rogers Memorial Museum is partnering with the Cherokee Heritage Center to host “The Cherokee Kid: A Will Rogers Exhibit.”

A Cherokee Nation citizen, Rogers was born on Nov. 4, 1879, in the Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory. The exhibit shares details about his Cherokee lineage and his family’s relocation to Indian Territory as “Old Settlers.” It also explores his early life, before his success as one of America’s most iconic entertainers, including his entry into adulthood during the Curtis Act, allotment and statehood.

The exhibit first debuted in 2018 at the CHC, thanks in large part to support from the Will Rogers Memorial Museum and the Oklahoma Humanities Council.

“We’re beyond thankful for the longstanding, collaborative partnership we have with the Will Rogers Memorial Museum,” CHC Executive Director Dr. Charles Gourd said. “The creation and sharing of this exhibit truly demonstrate our commitment, dedication and shared interest in the life and legacy of Will Rogers.”

The exhibit was prepared by CHC Curator Callie Chunestudy. When it was time for it to be replaced, Tribal Councilor Keith Austin requested that it be transferred to the Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Claremore.

“It’s where it needs to be,” said Austin. “It’s shared so people who come to the museum can gain new knowledge about Will Rogers’ Cherokee heritage.”

An opening reception offering guests a sneak peek at the exhibit will be held at 4 p.m. on Nov. 22. It is open to the public and free to attend.

“The timing of this exhibit could not have been better as this month we celebrate both the month of Will Rogers’ birth and National Native American History Month,” Tad Jones, Will Rogers Memorial Museum and Birthplace Ranch executive director, said. “We appreciate the wonderful work of the Cherokee Heritage Center and the efforts of Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor Keith Austin to bring this exhibit to Claremore to share with our guests.”

“The Cherokee Kid: A Will Rogers Exhibit” will be on display for one year before going on permanent display at the Will Rogers Birthplace Museum in Oologah.
For information, visit willrogers.com.

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