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Museum Confidential

100 EpisodesProduced by Philbrook Museum of ArtWebsite

Museum Confidential is a behind-the-scenes look at museums hosted by Jeff Martin. The show is a co-production of Philbrook Museum of Art and Public Radio Tulsa. New episodes every two weeks.

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Scorsese, Songs, and More with Randall Poster

September 22nd, 2023


From time to time we explore the question, “what is a curator?” For the past 30 years, Randall Poster has been searching for, securing rights for, and working alongside directors to find the perfect moment for music in …

Erasing History

September 8th, 2023


Video journalist Alexandra Eaton of The New York Times joins us to share an unforgettable story that begins with a painting created in 1837 New Orleans. It depicts a well-to-do family’s three children and a Black …

Summer Vacation to “Dalíland”

July 21st, 2023


In the new biopic, Dalíland, acclaimed director Mary Harron give us a glimpse into the Salvador Dalí’s later years in 70s New York City via the immense talents of Academy Award-winner, Sir Ben Kingsley. From her look at …

Live from Hawaii

May 26th, 2023


For our Season 7 finale, we travel to the Honolulu Museum of Art (HoMA) to chat with an architect and a neurologist about the intersections of art, …

Preserving the Digital World

May 13th, 2023


With more and more of our lives now being lived online -- and with more and more of our stuff existing only in the cloud -- how best should we …

Life in the Archives

April 28th, 2023


On this edition of MC, we've got mad props for all the archivists and librarians in the house. The stewardship that these professionals bring to …

The Art of the Record Store

April 19th, 2023


Founded by artist Theaster Gates, the Rebuild Foundation has been transforming buildings and neighborhoods on the South Side of Chicago since 2009 with art projects, community gathering spaces, small businesses, and …

Sir Roger Deakins & James Deakins

March 24th, 2023


This episode offers a career-spanning chat with Oscar-winning cinematographer, Sir Roger Deakins, and his wife/longtime collaborator, James Deakins. …

Rembrandt to Monet

March 10th, 2023


Museums rarely allow their most beloved works to travel. But Omaha’s Joslyn Art Museum is under renovation. An opportunity arose. Now through May 28, Philbrook presents 500 years of European treasures from that …

The American the Royal Academy of Arts

February 24th, 2023


London's Royal Academy of Arts will soon open a special exhibition titled, SOULS GROWN DEEP LIKE RIVERS: BLACK ARTISTS FROM THE AMERICAN SOUTH. …

The Value of Art

February 10th, 2023


What is the “art market?” A decade ago, Michael Findlay published “The Value of Art” to explore this very question. But the world has changed in many ways since the book’s initial release. A global pandemic, MeToo, …

Jeffrey Gibson

January 27th, 2023


A work by Mississippi Choctaw/Cherokee artist Jeffrey Gibson is instantly recognizable. This is even more impressive given the variety of his output. …

Van Gogh in America

January 13th, 2023


A century ago, the Detroit Institute of Arts became the first U.S. museum to purchase a painting by Vincent van Gogh. Now they’re hosting America’s largest Van Gogh exhibition in a generation. On this episode we chat …

Art, Artists, and LP Covers: An Extended Chit-Chat

December 30th, 2022


MC is closing down 2022 with a one-hour special -- a breezy, somewhat geeky, opinionated, and taped-live-in-the-studio conversation between host Jeff Martin and producer Scott Gregory. The discussion topic is …

Painting Michelle Obama

December 16th, 2022


Acclaimed artist Sharon Sprung had to wait years before she could tell the world that she was commissioned to paint Michelle Obama’s official White …

Sneaker Art at 20

December 2nd, 2022


On this episode we get a few kicks with British artist Dave White who pioneered the sneaker art movement 20 years ago. His portraits of popular shoes …

Hilton Als on Joan Didion

November 11th, 2022


Well before Joan Didion’s death in December 2021, acclaimed writer and New Yorker magazine contributor Hilton Als was hard at work on a show for LA’s Hammer Museum. But how can one exhibition grapple with Didion’s big, …

Special Report: Hurricanes and Museums

October 28th, 2022


With climate change and more frequent weather events, what does the future hold for coastal museums? On this special episode we speak with Courtney …

Prudes, Puritans, and American Museums

October 14th, 2022


For the past few decades, American artist/sexual anthropologist Betony Vernon has been living in Europe, designing erotic jewelry, writing books, and …

Cheech & Chicano Art

September 23rd, 2022


The one and only Cheech Marin (Cheech & Chong) stops by to discuss his recently opened museum, The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art and …

The Hidden History of Black Cinema

September 9th, 2022


On our Season 7 premiere, we visit the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles for the opening of a groundbreaking new exhibition, REGENERATION: BLACK CINEMA 1898–1971. Enjoy a fascinating chat with …

The Whataburger Museum of Art

August 19th, 2022


We’re cooking up something tasty on this special summer episode and taking a bite out of the Whataburger Museum of Art. Is it really a museum? What’s the submission process? Is it curated? Is this pure marketing or …

Museums Abide (Our 100th Show!)

May 27th, 2022


From a fire at the Smithsonian in 1865 to the Covid-19 pandemic, museums have faced challenge after challenge, and have survived. That didn't happen by accident. On our final MC episode for Season 6 -- and our 100th …

Stuffy Old Museum: Tone 101

May 13th, 2022


How can a small museum in the middle of the country have an impact on par with bigger institutions? How can we fight above our weight class in the arena of ideas? On this special episode we team up with MuseumNext to …

A Star is Born (at 86)

April 29th, 2022


Shirley Woodson was born in 1936. She grew up and still lives in Detroit. It’s her city, her muse. At 86 the artist recently opened her first ever …

Surrealists at War

April 15th, 2022


What role can artists and creatives play in wartime? On this episode we chat with acclaimed author Lesley M.M. Blume about her recent Town & …

The Secret History of the World’s Most Erotic Masterpiece

March 25th, 2022


As Women’s History Month comes to a close, we explore Gustave Courbet’s perennially provocative 1866 work, “L’Origine du Monde (The Origin of the World)” with artist/writer Lilianne Milgrom, author of “L'Origine: The …

Troy Montes-Michie

March 11th, 2022


Troy Montes-Michie was born in El Paso. Border towns are a natural mash-up of cultures, traditions, languages, food, fashion, and nearly everything …

Beeple Comes Alive

February 25th, 2022


Mike Winkelmann has been creating digital art for over two decades. He’s 40 years old, lives in South Carolina, and has a computer science degree …

The Spiritual Side of Art

February 11th, 2022


In the years before World War 2, a group of artists gathered in New Mexico to “carry painting beyond the appearance of the physical world, through …

Who's Harold Stevenson?

January 28th, 2022


Oklahoma artist Harold Stevenson (1929-2018) created big paintings and lived an even bigger life in New York, Paris, Key West, and the Hamptons, …

Live From Aspen: Why Warhol Persists

January 7th, 2022


We haven’t done a live audience show in ages. So when the invitation came to travel to Aspen, Colorado for the opening of a new Andy Warhol show at …

Mark Mothersbaugh

December 17th, 2021


Mark Mothersbaugh has been a creative force for well over 40 years. From co-founding DEVO to scoring countless films and shows, his impact is …

Barbara Kruger: It’s Not a Retrospective

December 3rd, 2021


Barbara Kruger’s images and texts have been a consistent source of cultural commentary for decades. Her new exhibition, THINKING OF YOU. I MEAN ME. I …

Van Gogh: The Fanboy

November 19th, 2021


Few artists have work as instantly recognizable as Vincent van Gogh. But as original and unique as it seems, the work stands on the shoulders of many …

Beyond the "Bad Art Friend"

November 5th, 2021


We hear the word “viral” all the time. But very few things actually go viral. A recent exception is “Who Is the Bad Art Friend?,” a nearly …

Judy Chicago

October 22nd, 2021


On the occasion of her first career retrospective, we sit down with legendary artist/feminist Judy Chicago. The exhibition , now on view at San Francisco’s de Young Museum, includes approximately 130 paintings, prints, …

John Lurie

October 8th, 2021


Many people have been incorrectly hailed as a “Renaissance Man,” but it perfectly describes Mr. John Lurie. Music, acting, painting, writing, he’s done it all. With a long-gestating memoir just out and a second season …

The Smithsonian Goes Hip-Hop

September 17th, 2021


The long-awaited Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap just dropped. The set includes 129 tracks on 9 discs and a hefty 300–page book with …

The Outsiders?

September 3rd, 2021


What is an “outsider artist?” Do we even call them that anymore? In recent years the term shifted to “self-taught artist.” Sounds different. But does it mean the same thing? On this episode we chat with Dr. Katherine …

Teaser: "It's Confidential"

September 2nd, 2021


The secret's out! Season 6 of Museum Confidential starts Friday 9/3! Enjoy this early listen to our new season theme song performed by Oklahoma's own Broncho. Written by Broncho's Ryan Lindsey and MC Host Jeff Martin. 

Greenwood Rising

June 25th, 2021


On the season finale of Museum Confidential 2021 we sit down with Philbrook President/CEO Scott Stulen and Phil Armstrong, Project Director for the …

The Legacy of Survival

June 11th, 2021


Through the use of artificial intelligence and augmented reality, the new exhibit, THE LEGACY OF SURVIVAL, allows anyone to interact with and …

The Kinsey Collection

May 21st, 2021


The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection tells the story of African American triumphs and accomplishments from 1595 to present day. …

Rick Lowe

May 7th, 2021


Rick Lowe is one of the two Lead Artists for the Greenwood Art Project alongside William Cordova. Born in Alabama, but a longtime resident of …

The 1921 Black Wall Street Online Directory

April 23rd, 2021


On this 75th episode of Museum Confidential we chat with Mikeal Vaughn of the Urban Coders Guild. This spring the Urban Coders Guild student cohorts will use their acquired web and mobile application development skills …

A Portrait of Breonna Taylor

April 2nd, 2021


On this episode we road trip to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art to chat with Associate Curator, Allison Glenn. Promise, Witness, Remembrance at Louisville, Kentucky's Speed Art Museum, guest-curated by Glenn, …

Sam Pollard

March 19th, 2021


Acclaimed documentary director, editor, and producer Sam Pollard joins us to talk about his recent films Black Art: In the Absence of Light, MLK/FBI, …

Rebuilding Black Wall Street

March 5th, 2021


TheRese Aduni has been hard at work on her documentary, "Rebuilding Black Wall Street." The film uses 16mm film footage shot by TheRese's father and chronicles the men and women who rebuilt Greenwood in the aftermath of …

The Godfather of Cool

February 19th, 2021


2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the classic crime film SHAFT, directed Gordon Parks. Parks was a filmmaker, writer, musician, and one of the 20th century’s great photographers. A recent piece in the New York Times …

The Greenwood Art Project

February 5th, 2021


A new season begins in partnership with the Greenwood Art Project, an initiative of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission. To get a …

OUR PEOPLE: Susan Billy

January 1st, 2021


On the final episode of OUR PEOPLE, Rebecca Nagle chats with artist Susan Billy (Pomo) about family, traditions, basketry, and more. Susan is the granddaughter of Pomo basket weaver Susan Santiago Billy. Presented in …

OUR PEOPLE: Kelly Church

December 24th, 2020


On the penultimate episode of OUR PEOPLE, Rebecca chats with artist Kelly Church (Ottawa/Pottawatomi) about basketry, invasive bugs, sustainability, …

The Wright Time: Part 2

December 18th, 2020


Let's go back to Arizona. In part 2 of our look at the impact of the COVID-19 era on the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, we go a bit deeper and chat with the department heads who keep the wheels turning. Recorded live …

OUR PEOPLE: Cara Romero

December 17th, 2020


On the third episode of OUR PEOPLE, Rebecca sits down (virtually) with artist/photographer, Cara Romero (Chemehuevi ). Now based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Cara grew up alternating between the rural Chemehuevi reservation …

The Wright Time: Part 1

December 11th, 2020


Our intrepid host reports from an unforgettable desert journey to Taliesin West in Arizona, home to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. In late 2019 we were invited by the Foundation to do a live show for a real, human …

OUR PEOPLE: America Meredith

December 10th, 2020


On this episode of OUR PEOPLE, Rebecca chats with acclaimed artist and First American Art Magazine editor, America Meredith (Cherokee) about her work, family, and more. Presented in connection with the landmark special …

OUR PEOPLE: Anita Fields

December 3rd, 2020


In connection with the landmark special exhibition, Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists (on view through 1/3/21), Museum Confidential presents a new limited series hosted by journalist/podcaster, Rebecca Nagle …

Do Museums Have a Docent Problem?

November 20th, 2020


Docents, volunteers, tour guides, whatever you want to call them, have been and remain an important part of the museum visitor experience. As the …

Art for Justice

November 6th, 2020


Agnes Gund is a legend in the art world for her collection, her philanthropy, and her decision in 2017 to sell a painting by Roy Lichtenstein for …

Accidentally Wes Anderson

October 23rd, 2020


We miss movies. Due to the pandemic, the latest Wes Anderson movie has been bumped to 2021. But fans aren’t leaving 2020 empty handed. One of our favorite Instagram feeds the past few years is the gentle escapism of …

Native Women Artists

October 9th, 2020


On this episode we explore the groundbreaking exhibition, "Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists" with Philbrook Curator Christina Burke. The first of its kind and years in the making, this show honors the …

Imaginary Museums

September 24th, 2020


What is a museum? We know it's more than a big building with paintings on walls and objects in cases. But could our own homes be museums about us? On …

The Museum of Racist Objects

June 17th, 2020


On this episode we revisit our unforgettable conversation with Dr. David Pilgrim, Founder and Curator of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University in Michigan. Museums aren't always meant to …

How We Reopen

June 12th, 2020


Season 3 Finale. How does a museum reopen in the wake of COVID-19? What are the changes and challenges museums face in this new world? We explore …

We have much work to do

June 7th, 2020


What follows is a statement recently released by Philbrook. It was created and edited in collaboration with the museum staff, leadership, and Board …

Sarah Urist Green

May 22nd, 2020


On this episode, Philbrook Director Scott Stulen steps in as Guest Host for a fascinating chat with writer and curator, Sarah Urist Green. Sarah is …

Letter From Prison (to a cat)

May 8th, 2020


Philbrook recently kicked off a pen pal program for the museum cats. A bit of connection in the COVID-19 era. If you write them a letter, they write back. That's the deal. The program took off quickly and mail began …

Jerry Saltz

May 1st, 2020


In the age of Rotten Tomatoes, likes, and shares, we are all critics. But a rarified few have transcended the trends and held onto a corner of the …

April 19, 1995

April 19th, 2020


A special episode commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing. We chat with OKC Mayor David Holt and Kari Watkins, longtime …

Broad Strokes

April 10th, 2020


It's not breaking news to say that women artists have often been ignored or even purposefully excluded from the canon. As we continue celebrating the …

Engagement in the Age of Coronavirus

March 25th, 2020


In a special episode we air an important conversation hosted by museum engagement company, Cuseum. More than 3,000 museum professionals around the globe tuned in to “How to Keep Your Audience Engaged, Entertained, and …

The Scientific Method

March 13th, 2020


Art museums account for less than 5% of all American museums. More than half fall into the history category. Science and technology museums barely …

Metropolitan Stories

February 28th, 2020


2020 marks the 150th anniversary of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Christine Coulson worked at The Met for a quarter of a century in a …

Year of the Woman

February 14th, 2020


2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment to the constitution, giving American women the right to vote. Last fall, the …

Museums Get Organized

January 23rd, 2020


There’s a bit of a trend happening in the museum world. Museums are unionizing. And while this trend is somewhat isolated to New York and California, …

Special Report: #MuseumMeToo

January 14th, 2020


In a special report we speak with New York Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Zachary Small about their bombshell investigation into 31-year-old (now …

Colleen Dilenschneider

January 10th, 2020


One name keeps popping up as one of the most important young voices on the future of museums. That name is Colleen Dilenschneider. Through short …

Frank Lloyd Wright Revisited

December 20th, 2019


2019 marks the 60th anniversary (October 1959) of New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The Guggenheim was the final and perhaps crowning …

All About That ($14.5 Million) Vase

December 5th, 2019


Museums acquire. They keep. They care for their objects. And it always causes a bit of a stir when a Museum decides to sell something from its …

Edward Hopper Was Here

November 22nd, 2019


The name "Edward Hopper" is synonymous with loneliness. Hotels and motels play a central role in Hopper’s art. "Edward Hopper and The American Hotel" …

Building Stories

November 1st, 2019


Sometimes a place becomes a museum by accident. This takes the perfect mix of history, people, luck, notoriety, and course, art. One of the best examples of this rare occurrence is the legendary Chelsea Hotel in New …

Springsteen's Stuff

October 18th, 2019


Bruce Springsteen just turned 70. But The Boss shows no signs of slowing down. In his hometown of Freehold, New Jersey, there’s a new exhibition at …

Dr. Seuss: Lost and Found

October 4th, 2019


In 2013, while looking through a forgotten box of archival materials, Dr. Seuss’s widow, Audrey Geisel, discovered a folder containing a …

Go Forward, Move Ahead

September 19th, 2019


Spoiler: Adam Lerner isn’t your average museum director. For the past 10 years, Adam ran the show at MCA Denver. His impact on the institution, the city, and in many ways, the industry, is undeniable. Adam recently …

Getting High with Killer Mike

September 6th, 2019


During our summer break, we headed down to Atlanta to interview hip-hop artist and activist, Killer Mike. He’s known widely for his work with Run The Jewels, but this trip was to talk about museums. Specifically, …

Jason Lee

June 28th, 2019


For our 2019 Summer Special we chat with photographer, actor, and legendary skateboarder, Jason Lee (Mallrats, Almost Famous). Lee spent a good portion of 2018 road-tripping through Oklahoma taking photos for his first …

Live From New Orleans: Don Wildman

May 31st, 2019


For our Season 2 finale we headed down to the Big Easy for a live show to kick off the annual conference of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). …

Every Picture Tells a Story

May 10th, 2019


There are many examples of writers using paintings and other visual art as inspiration to create an entirely new work. Think The Girl with a Pearl Earring or even The Da Vinci Code. That’s exactly what award-winning …

What Is A Curator?

April 26th, 2019


In our first show recorded in front of a live audience, we explore what it means to be a curator with Philbrook Museum of Art Chief Curator Catherine Whitney and Gilcrease Museum Senior Curator, Laura Fry. Your …

Confronting An Ugly Past

April 11th, 2019


We recently stumbled upon a fascinating blog post written last year by Graham Boettcher, Director of the Birmingham Museum of Art in Birmingham, Alabama.


Museum Storage Wars

March 29th, 2019


Museums have a problem. Too much stuff. But whereas you can take a few carloads to Goodwill or set up a yard sale, museums don’t have that luxury. Sometimes they end up building costly expansions just to contain the …

Ask The Experts 2.0

March 1st, 2019


Time for our annual round table chat with three experts from different parts of the art world. The roster includes Hrag Vartanian, editor of the …

Glenstone, A Labor of Love

February 15th, 2019


Less than 20 miles from Washington D.C., there’s a place called Glenstone. It was founded by Mitch and Emily Rales and opened in 2006. Last fall Glenstone took a big leap into the next chapter. But what is Glenstone? …

Paintings for the Future

February 1st, 2019


For the #1 slot on his Top 10 Best Art Shows of 2018, New York magazine art critic Jerry Saltz selected an exhibition at the Guggenheim by Swedish artist Hilma af Klint titled “Paintings for the Future.”

“The most …

The Savior

January 18th, 2019


Art conservation: It’s sort of a magic trick. But there are immensely talented people using skills and techniques passed down over generations …

The Underground Museum

January 4th, 2019


Close your eyes. Imagine a museum. Chances are we’re all seeing a variation on a theme. Open galleries, high ceilings, there’s a guard in the corner …

The Grand Vienna Museum: On Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf

December 21st, 2018


Several years ago, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria began inviting artists to sift through the museum’s more than 4 million objects and create exhibitions filtered through the artist’s own unique point of …

Ninth Street Women

December 7th, 2018


Pulitzer Prize Finalist Mary Gabriel joins us to talk about her acclaimed new book, Ninth Street Women. After WWII, when names like Pollock and …

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