2018 Chautauqua

The Modern Age: Moving Forward from World War I

June 5 – 9, 2018

Under a tent on the grounds of the Tulsa Historical Society & Museum

Five nights each June, as the crickets chatter and the wind blows the summer heat into the Arkansas, Tulsa celebrates its annual Chautauqua. Like apparitions from the past, figures emerge from history, come to the Chautauqua tent, settle upon the Chautauqua stage and talk. Re-enacted by humanities scholars, Chautauqua characters carry us into the very heart of history. We experience their joys and sorrows, envision their lives and times, hear the voices of the past.

Enhance Chautauqua with a picnic! Bring a blanket and enjoy the lawn and gardens. Wine and beer are permitted.


  • Tuesday, June 5th: General “Black Jack” Pershing portrayed by Doug Mishler
  • Wednesday, June 6th: Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney portrayed by Debra Conner
  • Thursday, June 7th: Acee Blue Eagle portrayed by Michael Hughes
  • Friday, June 8th: Josephine Baker portrayed by Vanessa Adams-Harris
  • Saturday, June 9th: Ernest Hemingway portrayed by John Anderson


DAILY WORKSHOP SCHEDULE (inside the museum):

Tuesday, June 5th:

12:00 (noon): John Anderson: Hemingway and the Culture of Celebrity: How Hemingway’s legendary celebrity interacted with his literary reputation to forge his iconic brand of masculinity and adventure. 

5:30 PM: Michael Hughes: American Indian Art in Oklahoma, from Mammoths to Masters: Learn about American Indian art from prehistory through the 20th century, concentrating on the “golden age of Oklahoma Indian art.”

Wednesday, June 6th:

12:00 (noon): Vanessa Adams-Harris: A Great Migration:  African-American Ex-Pats: The chance to achieve an equality unattainable in the US was irresistible after the Great War for African-Americans who had fought for the freedom of others abroad

5:30 PM: Doug Mishler: Now It’s Harder to Duck: Transition to Modern War: “Black Jack” Pershing’s career transitioned from 19th century warfare to modern war. His role in WWI influenced the American military and shaped modern society.

Thursday, June 7th: 

12:00 (noon): Doug Mishler: Unleash the Kracken: How “The Modern” Brought Chaos to America: Just as computers and the wired society have radically affected 21st century life, so did “the birth of the modern.”

5:30 PM: Debra Conner: All That Money Can Buy: Look at Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s contributions to the art world and at an artist she championed, Edward Hopper.  Learn the stories behind the elaborate homes of the era.

Friday, June 8th:

12:00 (noon): Michael Hughes: Stories from Books Written By and Illustrated by American Indians: Stories and illustrations from children’s books, from a pioneering effort by Acee Blue Eagle to the celebrated works of Paul Goble. This is a youth and children’s workshop, but suitable for adults. 

5:30 PM: John Anderson: “Soldier’s Home”: Look at Hemingway’s 1925 story “Soldier’s Home,” about a WW I veteran adjusting to civilian life when he returns to his home in Oklahoma, exploring his development as a modernist writer.

Saturday, June 9th: 

12:00 (noon): Debra Conner:  Inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe: Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings used simplified shapes and bold colors.  We will create our own expressive works of art.  Suitable for ages 8 to adult.

5:30 PM:  Vanessa Adams-Harris: Josephine Baker to Hip-Hop Fashion Forward: Josephine Baker’s costumes have influenced a generation of contemporary hip-hop artists.  Let’s look at the messages of hip-hop self-identity.