A number of events fit for families, connoisseurs, and collectors are taking place this weekend in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

Although the outstanding fine arts events in Jackson and Cody, Wyoming, have wrapped up, opportunities still remain around the country for families and collectors alike to enjoy the best that Western artists have to offer.

“The Best of the Best” is a three-day event beginning tomorrow, October 2, at the Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve that features seven acclaimed wildlife artists. The events will culminate Saturday evening with a “Retrospective Exhibit & Sale” of the artists’ newest work. Of the seven, four are painters — Ken Carlson, Bob Kuhn, James Morgan, and Tucker Smith — and three sculptors: Ken Bunn, Walter Matia, and Tim Shinabarger.

Walter Matia, “A Point of Honor,” 2012, bronze, 14 x 20 x 12 in. (c) Woolaroc Museum 2015

Oilman Frank Phillips established the preserve among the breathtaking Osage Hills of Northeastern Oklahoma in 1925. At 3,700 acres, the preserve remains home to countless species of native wildlife and plants, including buffalo, elk, longhorn cattle, and more. The mission of the preserve is summed up beautifully in the words of Phillips himself, and they ring true today perhaps more than ever: “This isn’t all a dream about something, but a place where I can get back to nature. The great difficulty with the American people today is that they are getting too far away from the fundamental things in life. Too much time and money are spent on things which leave no record and which add nothing basically to the present nor to the future. To build permanently and wisely is to benefit all mankind. The conservation of wildlife now will mean much to future generations.”

Tucker Smith, “Return to the Prairie,” 2012, oil on linen, 16 x 40 in. (c) Woolaroc Museum 2015

Festivities kick off Friday with an artist and patron dinner, where sponsors and special guests are invited to preview the exhibition while meeting the artists. Information on how you can become a sponsor can be found here. The events continue Saturday with a luncheon at the gorgeous Woolaroc Ranch, where live entertainment, tours of the lodge, and tantalizing lectures from artists Tucker Smith and Walter Matia will surely whet the bidding appetite. The silent bidding for the exhibition and sale will kick off at 6 p.m. in the museum. The weekend will continue on Sunday with a brunch at 10 a.m. in what is described as “a lovely private home.”
To view a more detailed list of the events taking place, click here.
To learn more, visit the Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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