Autry National Center

What Is the Autry?

The Autry National Center of the American West is a museum dedicated to exploring and sharing the stories, experiences, and perceptions of the diverse peoples of the American West, connecting the past to the present to inspire our shared future. The museum presents a wide range of exhibitions and public programs—including lectures, film, theater, festivals, family events, and music—and performs scholarship, research, and educational outreach. The Autry’s collection of more than 500,000 pieces of art and artifacts includes the Southwest Museum of the American Indian Collection, one of the largest and most significant in the United States.

The Autry inhabits a unique niche of Western history and culture. Although there are exemplary art museums and many historic sites in our region, there is only one museum devoted to Western history and culture. The Autry is the only museum of its kind located in a major metropolitan center and the only museum that combines multiple Native American perspectives with Western histories and cultures in such a profoundly interconnected and multifaceted way. The Autry brings together the diverse experiences, collections, and creativity that symbolize the West.

Mission Statement

The Autry brings together the stories of all peoples of the American West, connecting the past with the present to inspire our shared future.

The Autry’s desired impact is to create relevancy between history and the present day and to engage the public in exploration of critical contemporary concerns in order to shape the future. The Autry continues to aim for this outcome through the creation of provocative, engaging, and compelling museum experiences that increase people’s understanding of each other and America, help the community ask and answer important questions about the most pressing issues of society, and promote solutions beneficial to the greater good


The central organizing concept of the Autry is convergence, defined as a way of seeing the evolving story of the American West as an interwoven tapestry of cultures and peoples.

Convergence is a potent way of understanding how people’s individual stories are connected to one another and to the present. It encompasses the early convergences of different and distinct Indigenous peoples, their convergence with the Europeans who came next, and the convergence today of global peoples. Convergence presents the opportunity to draw audiences with distinct and wide-ranging interests to a unified site where interconnections are made, ideas flourish, and a national discourse is advanced. The telling of history at the Autry can expand our worldview and reflect the true complexity of the West while also defining who we are collectively.

Convergence also guides the overall content development of exhibitions, programming, collections, research, and publications. It links the Autry to the frontier of current scholarship—where convergence has become the signature approach of Western historians—to discuss the complex, multilayered, and interconnected history of peoples in this region.


Calendar Highlights

Community Beadwork Drop-in Workshop
Learn the basics of beading! Contribute your talents to a community beadwork project for display in the museum that will also become an artifact for...

Saturday, Apr 11, 2015 1:00 pm

American Indian Games
Play a traditional American Indian game with SCIC/American Indian Families Partnership (AIFP) cultural educator John Bradley (Cherokee/Comanche).

Sunday, Apr 12, 2015 1:00 pm

The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)
What Is a Western? is an ongoing film series that examines a variety of movies about the American West. The majority of the films are traditional...

Saturday, Apr 18, 2015 1:30 pm

Western Music Association Showcase
Join musicians and cowboy poets as they perform stories and songs of the romantic Old West, contemporary music of the American West, and songs of...

Sunday, Apr 19, 2015 12:00 pm

Repairing the Western Landscape
From diverting water for urban consumption to altering land through mining and ranching, human industry has impacted the Western landscape in dramatic ways. Meet representatives...

Sunday, Apr 19, 2015 2:00 pm


4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, CA 90027-1462 Phone: 323.667.2000

© 2015 Autry National Center of the American West. All rights reserved.