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Nan Sheets


A pharmacy graduate of Valparaiso University in Indiana, Sheets worked as a pharmacist in Salt Lake City.  Upon marriage, she moved with her physician husband to Oklahoma City in 1914.  In 1915, they built “The Elms”, her home on North Walker, which promptly became the “axis of Oklahoma’s visual aesthetics” (Leonard Good).  With Oscar Jacobson she virtually created the fine arts community in central Oklahoma.  Sheets exhibited in 1927 at the National Association of Women Artists in New York City as a newly elected member of the National academy of Design.  She served as Supervisor of the WPA art program for Oklahoma (initially co-chaired with Oscar Jacobson), and as an art critic for the Daily Oklahoman.  Sheets founded a federally funded art gallery to display WPA artists which she continued as the Oklahoma Art Center (later, the Oklahoma City Art Museum), serving as Director from 1936 to 1965.  She became a member of the London Royal Society of Art in 1955.