TULSA, OK., May 18, 2023 — Philbrook Museum of Art has received a $10 million gift from the A. R. & Marylouise Tandy Foundation to build a major new feature within the Philbrook Gardens. The approximately 6,000-square-foot Tandy Pavilion and 2,000-square-foot covered patio take advantage of an underutilized area of the Museum’s grounds, creating a hub for art education, nature programs, special events, and general recreation. The Tandy gift also enables Philbrook to enhance the campus, adding new lighting, accessible pathways, much-needed infrastructure like restrooms, and updated security measures to more safely and efficiently use the outer edges of the property.
Philbrook is working locally with Tulsa’s Selser Schaefer Architects and Manhattan Construction to oversee design and construction. Site prep is set to begin this summer, with a planned groundbreaking at the end of this year and an estimated completion of Spring 2025.
“We are profoundly grateful for a legacy of support from the Tandy family and to the Tandy Foundation for this remarkable gift to our community,” says Chairwoman of the Philbrook Board Marcia MacLeod. “The bold vision for this project reflects Philbrook’s work to embrace both art and gardens and carries with it an important message that this Museum is innovative and welcoming to all.”
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic closures and restrictions for indoor gatherings, the Museum leaned into outdoor programming like never before, creating safe spaces for families to play, escape, relax, and recharge. Many programs carried over from that period and remain popular weekly offerings for the whole community. With interest and need both growing, the arrival of the Tandy Pavilion is much-needed and well-timed.
“The Tandy Pavilion will activate an entirely new part of our campus as a place for gathering, learning, and playing together,” says Philbrook President and CEO Scott Stulen. “Like generations before, young visitors will come with their friends, families, and teachers to create memories. As we continue to preserve the legacy of Philbrook, we’re also eager for this incredible opportunity to build its future.”
With the generous Tandy gift covering the bulk of the $12 million project, fundraising for the additional $2 million is underway. This undertaking marks the largest on-campus initiative since 2004’s “Realizing the Dream” campaign to renovate the Philbrook Gardens. Since opening as a public museum in 1939, Philbrook has continued to evolve and grow (both physically and philosophically) to meet the needs of visitors and the community at large while always preserving the history and philanthropic spirit that paved the way.