Philbrook Museum of Art celebrated April Fool's Day with the announcement that the cats who rule the museum's grounds and gardens were added officially to the museum's permanent art collection.
A press release sent out Thursday announced that Philbrook was "the first museum in the continental U.S. to officially accession (which is museum-speak for "adding") living domesticated cats into its permanent collection."
The release added that "the 'living' part of the designation is key, as it's quite common for museums, especially natural history museums, to have stuffed cats on view."
It quotes president and CEO — and founder of the Internet Cat Video Festival — Scott Stulen as saying, "Philbrook is both proud and humbled to be a pioneer in expanding the way museums see and define what a collection can be. Our Garden Cats have become a beloved part of the Philbrook Experience and just as valuable to us any painting or sculpture."
The release even included official accession numbers for Sage and Cleome, the current cats on the prowl, adding that the retired cats now living off-site, Acer and Perilla, were "being considered for emeritus accession status by the Animal Accreditation Department of the American Alliance of Museums in Washington, D.C."