Autry National Center

Collections

Guitar signed by Gene Autry
painting
sculpture

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.

basket
moccasins
pottery

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.

New Acquisitions

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Explore the Collections

Explore our Collections Online database to see images of the fascinating art, objects, photographs, and documents in our collections. Your research project may require “researcher level” access to view catalog records not yet in the public view. Please contact a librarian to request an ID and password at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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Collection Spotlights

  • The Watercolor Works of Eva Scott Fenyes

    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 Watercolor Works of Eva Scott Fenyes

    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.

  • The Watercolor Works of Eva Scott Fenyes

    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 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

    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

    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.

  • New Spain

    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

    More Than a Dream: Aviation Development in Southern California
    This online exhibition is from the collections of the Automobile Club of Southern California Archives.

  • More Than a Dream: Aviation Development in Southern California

    Theo Westenberger:
    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).

Collections out on loan

Museums and cultural institutions interested in borrowing objects from the Autry, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

  • L.C. Smith1935 Typewriter

    Typewriter

    L.C. Smith manual typewriter used by western scriptwriter Francis Kavanaugh Hecker. Circa 1935. Donated by Ms. Frances Kavanaugh Hecker, Autry National Center, 97.149.1.

    On loan to the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, Fort Worth, TX. October 2014 – January 1, 2016 for an exhibit honoring 2014 Cowgirl Hall of Fame inductees.

  • Pair of Comanche little girl’s moccasin boots.

    Girl’s moccasin boot pair

    Pair of Comanche little girl’s moccasin boots. German-silver disks, beadwork, and green paint decoration. Before 1890. The Louis Jerome Gillespie Memorial Collection, Southwest Museum of the American Indian Collection, Autry National Center; 611.G.764AB.

    On loan to the Comanche National Museum and Cultural Center, Lawton, OK. October 2014 – September 2015.

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    Gene Autry's Bluebird Boots

    Man's blue, tan, white, and maroon cowboy boots designed and manufactured by Olsen-Stelzer, circa mid-1930s. Worn by Gene Autry. Square toes; 2 1/8-inch walking heel; blue heel and toes with red cutouts; remainder lower is tan; white uppers with cutout designs of bluebirds and flowers; upper scalloped edge with cloth pulls has blue band with red arrows, hearts and diamonds. Mr. Autry said these boots were the very first pair of custom-made boots he owned. Donated by Mr. and Mrs. Gene Autry. Autry National Center; 91.221.141.1-.2.

    On loan to Oklahoma @ the Movies Oklahoma History Center, Oklahoma City, OK. May 2012 – May 2014.

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

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