The Autry in Griffith Park
The Autry National Center was established in 1988 by legendary recording and movie star Gene Autry to explore and share the comprehensive story of the American West and the multiple cultures, perspectives, traditions, and experiences—real and imagined—that make the West a significant and unique part of the world.
The Autry's Western Americana collection is comprised of nearly 21,000 paintings, sculptures, costumes, textiles, firearms, tools, toys, games, musical instruments, and other historical objects.The Autry presents thought-provoking exhibitions and an ongoing and dynamic mix of programs and events that can be enjoyed throughout the year.
The Autry National Center is located in Los Angeles's Griffith Park.
Southwest Museum of the American Indian Collection
The Southwest Museum of the American Indian, the oldest museum in Los Angeles, was founded by Charles Fletcher Lummis. Lummis was the first city editor for the Los Angeles Times. He was also a photographer, amateur anthropologist, and prolific historian of the Southwestern United States who helped popularize the idea of Los Angeles as a multicultural city. In 2003 the Southwest Museum merged with the Museum of the American West to become part of the Autry National Center.
The Southwest Museum of the American Indian Collection includes a 238,000-piece collection of Native American art and artifacts that is one of the most significant and representative of its kind in the United States, second only to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian. Composed of 14,000 baskets, 10,000 ceramic items, 6,300 textiles and weavings, and more than 1,100 pieces of jewelry, the Southwest Museum Collection represents Indigenous peoples from Alaska to South America, with an emphasis on cultures from California and the Southwestern United States.
Explore the Collections
The History of Wells Fargo & Company
The history of Wells Fargo & Company is inseparable from the history of the American West. The stagecoach and galloping team of six horses—the symbol that is synonymous with Wells Fargo—recalls a time when the stagecoach was the dominant means of long-distance overland transportation and communication.
The Motoring Explorer: Philip Johnston and the American Southwest
The rise of auto tourism played out in the Auto Club’s member magazine—originally titled Touring Topics before a name change to Westways in 1934—especially in the work of Philip Johnston, the author of 120 articles between 1925 and 1962.
Capturing California’s Romantic Past: The Watercolor Works of Eva Scott Fenyes
The Braun Research Library Collection houses more than three hundred watercolors of California adobes and California missions created by Eva Scott Fenyes. These works date from 1898 to a week before Mrs. Fenyes’s death in 1930.
The Colt Revolver in the American West
The Colt revolver had a dramatic impact around the world, but its greatest influence was in the American West in the second half of the nineteenth century. This online exhibition features slideshows and the stories behind 130 Colt artifacts in the Autry's collection.
Spanish Songs of Old California
Charles Lummis, founder of Los Angeles's Southwest Museum, dedicated much of his life to preserving cultures that he felt were vanishing. Like a number of Americans at the turn of the twentieth century, Lummis was convinced that Native Americans’ lifeways were on the road to extinction, and that Hispanic cultures in particular were doomed by modernity. Unlike many of his contemporaries, however, Lummis lamented these developments and worked to preserve at least some records of Indian and Hispanic cultures.
Opera in the Autry Collections
This online exhibition draws on the collections of the Braun Research Library, the Autry Library, and the Autry. Featured items include a rare 1912 recording of French tenor Augustarello Affre recorded in Los Angeles by Charles F. Lummis and the libretto from La Fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West) with music composed by Giacomo Puccini.
History and Cultures of Mexico and the Southwest
The Autry National Center’s permanent collection of colonial Latin American artifacts includes objects that exemplify the material culture of New Spain's northern frontier or "borderlands." The traditional arts of the borderlands, which developed over generations, reflect regional diversities.
More Than a Dream: Aviation Development in Southern California
This online exhibition is from the collections of the Automobile Club of Southern California Archives.
A Woman of the West
In 2010, the Libraries and Archives of the Autry National Center of the American West received a generous gift: the entire photographic work of Theo Westenberger (1950–2008).