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Arlette Klaric, chief curator at the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art, will deliver East Central University’s Eighth Annual Lockmiller Lecture in Art History on Wednesday, April 24, at 5:30 p.m. in the Estep Multimedia Center of the Bill S. Cole University Center.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Klaric will present some of her recent findings about ECU alumnus and artist Leon Polk Smith, including what she learned about his time as an ECU student, his travels around the world and his subsequent visits to Ada to share his experiences.

Little is known about Smith’s life in the Ada area, where he discovered art and rapidly turned his newfound passion into a highly-regarded career, according to Klaric. The presentation will expand the picture of Smith’s activities and social circle in Ada, based on research Klaric has been doing for an upcoming exhibition at the OSU Museum of Art in Stillwater.

Born in Chickasaw Indian Territory in Oklahoma in 1906, Smith attended what is now ECU and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in English in 1934. He began teaching primary and secondary school in Oklahoma while completing a master’s degree in art and educational psychology at Columbia University’s Teachers College. In 1940, he moved to New York to pursue his art and had his first solo exhibition at the prestigious Uptown Gallery in 1941.

ECU, along with the OSU Museum of Art, the Fred Jones Jr, Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma, Philbrook Museum in Tulsa and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art are part of a partnership of institutions in the state which are given a study collection of over 750 works on paper by Leon Polk Smith from his foundation in New York for study and research.

While the works are housed in Stillwater, all of the partner institutions and their students have access to the collection for exhibitions, viewing and study. As part of the partnership, ECU students have gone to Stillwater to learn about the collection.

This lecture was established, through an endowment, in honor of David Lockmiller and his interest in art history. Lockmiller is the father of former ECU professor Dr. Carlotta Lockmiller.

For more information on the Lockmiller Lecture or the Department of Art at ECU, contact Dr. Taryn Chubb at or 580-559-5820.



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