Exhibits at the Sheerar Museum illustrate the history of Stillwater and the surrounding area. Since 1989, the perimeter exhibit gallery displays have been arranged by decades, beginning with the Oklahoma land run of 1889, and continuing up through the end of the twentieth century. Two small exhibits, "Land and Peoples of Oklahoma Before European Settlement", and "How Stillwater Won the College", introduce visitors to the permanent displays.
During 2012, the Sheerar Museum began work to update the previously decades-based perimeter exhibit gallery bays. Currently, the Museum's exhibit gallery features a reduced floor plan with rotating temporary exhibits, while work is completed on the installation of the expanded perimeter exhibit bays. The updated displays will feature exhibits focused on important themes in Stillwater's History including: Native Americans in Stillwater, The Boomer Movement, The Founding of Stillwater, Agriculture, Stillwater Businesses, Transportation, Education, OAMC/OSU, and the Modern Home: From Pioneer life to Modern Conveniences in just 50 years!
This exhibit expansion and renovation project has been made possible by a $25,000 grant from The Buel J. Staton Charitable Trust.
The Museum Gallery is currently closed to allow staff and volunteers to finish the installation of the third and final phase of the exhibit redesign project begun in January 2012. The Museum will reopen on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 during regular hours of operation. On Thursday, May 9 from 5-7pm the Sheerar Museum Board of Trustees will host an Exhibit Grand Opening Reception to officially open the gallery with all new exhibits about the History of Stillwater's Founding, Businesses, Agriculture, Transportation, Education, Oklahoma State University, and Making a Home in Modern Stillwater. Also featured will be an all new art exhibit featuring works from the Museum's collection: "Momento: Capturing Memory Through Art."
Learn more about the history of this project here:
Sheerar Museum closed July 23--August 20, 2012 for Exhibit Construction
Sheerar Museum closed during January and February for Exhibit Renovation
Cannot open this file? Get Adobe Reader for free. Just click here.
The Sheerar features additional temporary exhibits focused on different themes of local and state history as well. These exhibits change each year.
Memento: Capturing Memory Through Art
"Memento" is on exhibit through the end of 2013. This exhibit features various forms of art, from folk art to fine art. The exhibit includes many pieces from the Sheerar Museum collection including many by artists from Stillwater's past.
The Sheerar Button Collection, a large collection of unusual buttons dating from the 1740s through the 1930s, is also on exhibit. This collection has been a part of Stillwater history since 1949, when Mrs. Lena Sheerar, who amassed the collection, moved from Wellsville, New York to be near her family in Stillwater. At the time of transport from New York to Stillwater, the entire collection weighed 87 pounds.
For many years, the Sheerar Museum was strongly associated with the button collection, however the mission of the Museum has expanded well beyond this narrow focus and only a small portion of this collection remains on exhibit. The Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History is named for Mrs. Lena Sheerar's son and daughter-in-law who gave the initial $25,000 towards the purchase of the building to house the Museum, and who also donated many of the first artifacts to the collection, including the 3,450 button collection.