Museums in Oklahoma City

A passion for flying and a love for science spurred the development of two of the most popular and unique museums in the Oklahoma City area.

The 99s Museum of Women Pilots celebrates the legacy of aviators such as Amelia Earhart who broke down barriers as they found success in flight. SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology grew out of an Oklahoma boy’s passion to learn about and collect skulls.

99s Museum of Women Pilots

The 5,000-square-foot museum was founded in 1999, 70 years after the 99s International Organization of Women Pilots started. The name of the organization came from the 99 charter members who attended an organization meeting in 1929 in New York.

The organization and the museum are in the same two-story
building – the museum is on the top floor at 4300 Amelia Earhart Lane. The building is within walking distance to Will Rogers World Airport, and is a popular stop for people who are coming to or from the airport.

The goal of the museum is to inspire young women to enter the aeronautics field. “Exhibits range from pioneer female pilots to modern military,” said William Long, museum manager.

Highlights include:

  • One of the largest collections of Amelia Earhart memorabilia.
  • Recognizing the first women in flight in each country.
  • The role of women in World War II aviation.
  • How female aviators influenced fashion.
  • Featuring a female pilot in every military branch.

The museum is undergoing updates to add more interactive exhibits, including a flight simulator. The museum’s website is being updated as well.

SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology

Jay Villemarette’s interest in skulls started at an early age when he found a dog skull in the woods as a 7-year-old.

He never lost his interest in osteology, winning state fair and science fair awards in middle school and selling skulls in his spare time after graduating high school. In 1990, he opened Skulls Unlimited and continued to build the business.

In 2010, he opened the Museum of Osteology, which has hundreds of skulls and skeletons on display and serves as the largest privately held collection of osteological specimens in the world. The museum’s success spurred a second location in Orlando, Florida.

The museum appeals to everyone and is an ideal experience for the entire family. Museum leaders organize events during the year, including scavenger hunts and activities for all ages, as well as Forensic Nights, an adult-focused event allowing guests to work a real forensic case.