By : Hatem Dhwibi


Exploring the zoo wore me out. By midday, I was exhausted and hungry so all my thoughts were about going back to my place. That was the plan, grab a sandwich and take the road back, but my curiosity always eats me inside out. I decided to take a quick look in the Philbrook Museum of Art on my way, that quick look was about two and half hours.

The museum was an Italian Renaissance villa that was the former home of Waite Phillips and his wife Genevieve, opened its door as a museum in October 1939, expanded by the addition of 70,000 square feet in 1990. I could swear that the property was as wide as the zoo or may be even wider.

The construction itself is a piece of art. A stucco exterior with a glitter white marble ground, corners coined with Kasota limestone that also decorates the doors and windows. The inside rooms are decorated with travertine and marble fireplaces and fountains, floors of steak, walnut and oak. A dining and living room, a wood paneled library centered by a globe light fixture reproducing a map from the time of Leonardo Da Vinci, a music room. The museum holds various artistic media and arts from all over the world. It encompasses European, American, Native American, Modern and Contemporary Art and Design, African, Asian and Antiquities. I am not an Art specialist but a variety of works have gotten my attention. I have seen pieces of arts that represent the Asante people of Ghana. I have seen pieces that represent the Yoruba people of Nigeria such as Shango, the God of thunder and lightning. I had the chance to look on the back of the Beatrice painting and realize that the painting was originally titled Hope.

I didn’t go through all the different rooms. I walked out through a balcony to the back part of the museum. It was incredible, and it just felt like being home. A long way using the rills and diagonal walks that link the mansion to the rustic pool then all the way south to the summerhouse.

I was having some good inspirational moments but the hands of time were running fast in this place and I had to leave. I grabbed a sandwich and I started my trip back.