‘Yellowstone’ TV Star Kevin Costner Describes How Oklahoma Roots Have Influenced His Art Taste

by Suzanne Halliburton

Kevin Costner can trace his roots back to the Oklahoma Panhandle. And he recently discussed one of his favorite places to explore in the Sooner State for his travel app, HearHere.

First, some background on the star of Yellowstone. Costner’s father was from Guymon, Okla., a town about 122 miles from the Texas border. His grandfather was Walter, who was one of 11 kids. Walter married his wife, Tig, when they both were teenagers. Tig was only 14. The family farmed and tended cattle. But the area also was in the Dust Bowl. That was a broad region from Texas to Nebraska that suffered from bad dust storms during the 1930s. The wild weather killed crops and livestock and contributed mightily to the Great Depression.

Because Kevin Costner could trace his people back to Oklahoma, he took an interest in Western art.

“I remember having my own fascination with Remingtons and Russells,” Costner said in a video posted by the HearHere Twitter account. “I knew they were there at this Gilcrease Museum. After I finished Fandango, a film I shot in Texas, I realized I was so close and I just had to go. I just had to go, And I wasn’t disappointed.”

Here’s More Info About That Museum Kevin Costner Mentioned

Frederic Remington was an American artist. His specialty was the Old West. The museum features his paintings, illustrations and sculptures.

Meanwhile, Kevin Costner also was referring to the works of Charles Russell, a painter who also loved the Old West.

The museum Costner visited is in Tulsa. It’s named for Thomas Gilcrease, who was a citizen of the Muscogee Creek Nation. The museum, which was built in 1949, features 350,000 items. Some archeological items can be traced back to 12,000 BC. There are collections representing hundreds of Indigenous cultures found in both North and South America. Plus, the museum houses the largest public holdings of art from the American West.

Kevin Costner also dropped a reference to Fandango in the conversation about Oklahoma. The 1985 movie was his first starring role. It’s about a group of college friends on a road trip.

Costner also mentioned another trip he took to Oklahoma. This one was to Oklahoma City. He visited the National Memorial, which honors the victims, survivors and first responders from the federal building bombing on April 19, 1995.

“I was so impressed,” Costner said. “Oklahoma is a good place for me.”

Costner didn’t mention his 2019 honor. That’s when he was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. 

Kevin Costner told this Oklahoma story as part of the app HearHere. The actor founded it in 2020. It offers stories about places you can see on various road trips.