by Delaynna Trim, Curator of Collections
After Fr. Gerrer passed away in 1946, there was not a director of the museum until 1957 when Stephen Gyermek was asked to become director. Stephen had escaped Communist Hungary in 1947 to study art and art history in Amsterdam. He then taught painting in Madrid before getting married and moving to Shawnee to become director of the Gerrer Museum.
The Gerrer Museum was officially reopened January 12, 1958. Stephen wrote regular columns about the museum’s collection and art history for the Shawnee News-Star, as well as regular newsletters for museum members and St. Gregory’s Alumni. In the first year and a half since reopening, the Gerrer Museum attracted almost 15,000 visitors!
By 1962, St. Gregory’s school had grown so much that space for more classrooms was needed in the main building which housed the museum’s collection. The decision was made to loan the collection out until funds could be raised to build a separate building for the museum. John Kirkpatrick offered to display and care for the collection at the Oklahoma Science and Arts Foundation. Many people still remember seeing Tutu (then called Princess Menne) at the state fairgrounds!
Delaynna Trim, Curator of Collections Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art Photo Credits: Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art.