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. Located in Griffith Park, the Autry’s collection of over 500,000 pieces of art and artifacts, which includes the collection of the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, is one of the largest and most significant in the United States. The Autry Institute includes two research libraries: the Braun Research Library and the Autry Library. Exhibitions, public programs, K–12 educational services, and publications are designed to examine the contemporary human condition through the lens of the historical Western experience and explore critical issues in society.

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. No place welcomes so many traditions, ideas, cultures, and people as the Autry. As a museum-plus-education-plus-research institution, 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

Convergence Is the Autry's Central Framework

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 policy, research, publications, and the interpretive agenda. 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

Pan for Gold!
Learn how to pan for gold, just like the 49ers did during the California gold rush!

Sunday, Feb 1, 2015 11:00 am

Bank of America Cardholder Free Weekend
Bank of America’s Museums On Us: Free individual cardholder admission first full weekend of each month.

Saturday, Feb 7, 2015 10:00 am

Pan for Gold!
Learn how to pan for gold, just like the 49ers did during the California gold rush!

Saturday, Feb 7, 2015 11:00 am

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, Feb 7, 2015 1:00 pm

Morning at the Museum: Masters of the American West
Amy Scott, Chief Curator and Marilyn B. and Calvin B. Gross Curator of Visual Arts, and John Geraghty, Autry Trustee and Special Advisor to Masters,...

Sunday, Feb 8, 2015 9:30 am

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

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