Autry National Center

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Western Frontiers: Stories of Fact and Fiction

GENERAL INFO / BACKGROUND

Location/Dates:

The Autry in Griffith Park: Gamble Firearms Gallery
July 27, 2013–Ongoing

This new exhibition illuminates the sweep of American Western history through its definitive artifact: the firearm. The examples featured—by iconic manufacturers such as Remington, Colt, Smith & Wesson, and Winchester, among others—are some of the finest specimens of the gun maker’s art, in terms of historic value, provenance, and pure beauty, that have ever been brought together in the United States.

The exhibition explores the many roles guns have played in the history of the West, from the opening of the frontier in the late eighteenth century through television Westerns in the middle of the twentieth century. Themes explored include hunting and trapping, the impact of technology on firearms, the conservation movement, and the West in popular culture.

From the Colt and Winchester firearms Teddy Roosevelt used in the West, to Annie Oakley’s gold-plated handguns with pearl grips, to a Remington revolver once owned by Gettysburg hero General George Meade, this evolving display reflects the real and imagined stories behind the people who owned those guns. The exhibition also features historical documents, artworks, and artifacts, including Winchester advertisement lithographs, colored-glass target spheres used in sharp-shooter demonstrations, and a gun belt once owned by actor Steve McQueen, all of which place the firearms in a rich cultural and historic context.

This new exhibition illuminates the sweep of American Western history through its definitive artifact: the firearm. The examples featured—by iconic manufacturers such as Remington, Colt, Smith & Wesson, and Winchester, among others—are some of the finest specimens of the gun maker’s art, in terms of historic value, provenance, and pure beauty, that have ever been brought together in the United States.

The exhibition explores the many roles guns have played in the history of the West, from the opening of the frontier in the late eighteenth century through television Westerns in the middle of the twentieth century. Themes explored include hunting and trapping, the impact of technology on firearms, the conservation movement, and the West in popular culture.

From the Colt and Winchester firearms Teddy Roosevelt used in the West, to Annie Oakley’s gold-plated handguns with pearl grips, to a Remington revolver once owned by Gettysburg hero General George Meade, this evolving display reflects the real and imagined stories behind the people who owned those guns. The exhibition also features historical documents, artworks, and artifacts, including Winchester advertisement lithographs, colored-glass target spheres used in sharp-shooter demonstrations, and a gun belt once owned by actor Steve McQueen, all of which place the firearms in a rich cultural and historic context.

Related Programs

UPCOMING:

Western Music Association Monthly Jam

Third Sunday of every month, Noon–3:00 p.m.


PAST:

Western Music Association Monthly Jam

Third Sunday of every month, Noon–3:00 p.m.


Cowboy Lunch: Legend and Legacy of Gene Autry

Wed, Nov 20, 2013 - 12:30 PM


Cowboy Lunch: The Weapons of TV Westerns

Wed, Dec 18, 2013 - 12:30 PM


Lightning Round: How the West Changed the Civil War

Saturday, Feb 8, 2014, 2:00 p.m.


Latin Jazz Sunday at the Autry

Sunday, June 8, 2014, 7:00 p.m.


Equality or Exceptionalism? Seeking Justice for Native Nations

Saturday, Mar 15, 2014, 5:00 p.m.


Portrait Painting Demonstration with Michelle Dunaway

Sunday, March 30, 2014, 1:00 p.m.


Navajo Rug Auction Member Preview Sale

Saturday, Apr 19, 2014, 9:00 a.m.


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Exhibitions

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

© 2014 Autry National Center of the American West. All rights reserved.