Proposed OKPOP Museum
– Posted on August 17, 2012
“Crossroads of Creativity”
Oklahoma Historical Society
by Nicole Harvey, OHS
The OKPOP Museum, located in the Brady Arts District of Tulsa, will be a 75,000 square-foot, four story building dedicated to the creative spirit of Oklahoma’s people and the influence of Oklahoma artists on popular culture around the world. The underlying theme of this innovative and interactive museum will be “Crossroads of Creativity,” whether it is in the field of music, film, television, theatre, pop art, comic book, literature or humor. The museum will collect artifacts, archival materials, film and video and audio recordings that reflect Oklahoma’s influence nationally and internationally.
Many different stories will be told at the OKPOP Museum, such as that of Ron Howard and his family. The Howard family of Duncan needs little introduction and their roots in Oklahoma are long standing. Jean Speegle Howard and her son, Ron Howard, were both born in Duncan while husband, Rance Howard, was born in Kay County. Rance Howard is a third generation Oklahoman with two grandfathers who made the Cherokee Outlet Land Run. With both parents in the acting profession, it is no surprise that Ron Howard caught the acting bug at a young age. A child star, the world knew Howard first as Opie on the Andy Griffith Show and then as Richie on Happy Days. His directorial debut came with Grand Theft Auto (1977). He has since directed more than thirty movies, including the classics Splash (1984), Parenthood (1989), Backdraft (1991), Apollo 13 (1995), A Beautiful Mind (2001), and Cinderella Man (2005). His epic Far and Away (1992) took him back to his Oklahoma roots focusing on the Land Run.
“I think the OKPOP Museum is a great idea. I just wish that as a kid there had been something like that I could have gone to see. I think it’s wonderful. I think it is very encouraging. You feel like there is a whole vast world out there. Everything I am today, I owe to Oklahoma,” said Rance Howard in a recent interview with Oklahoma Historical Society staff.