Collections

July 24, 2020

What Is This Object? Episode 2

Collections / What Is This

Hosted by Joe Horse Capture, the Autry's Vice President of Native Collections and the Ahmanson Curator of Native American History and Culture, this new video series is part "Kids Say the Darndest Things," part history lesson. Horse Capture takes objects from the Autry's collections and asks kids what they think it could be. Hilarity and cuteness ensues. At the end of the video, he turns it over to an Autry expert to explain the history behind the object. Test yourself and see if you can figure it out before the big reveal. Read more

July 17, 2020

Roam From Home With Caroline Boeing Poole and Other Women Wanderers

Collections / Library and Archives / Revealing Women in the Archives
By Victoria Bernal, Women in the Archives Social Media Manager

I have a wonderful wild free feeling lurking within me, as we speed along! I want to get off at every station & go out into this country which I know so well.

—Caroline Boeing Poole writing about a train trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico (1930-1931)

Since many will “roam from home” during these summer months, we’re sharing a few pages from the 1930s travel diary of Caroline Boeing Poole (1882-1932) and other women travelers, which not only transport one... Read more

July 8, 2020

What Is This Object? Episode 1

Collections / What Is This

Hosted by Joe Horse Capture , the Autry's Vice President of Native Collections and the Ahmanson Curator of Native American History and Culture, this new video series is part "Kids Say the Darndest Things," part history lesson. Horse Capture takes objects from the Autry's collections and asks kids what they think it could be. Hilarity and cuteness ensues. At the end of the video, he turns it over to an Autry expert to explain the history behind the object. Test yourself and see if you can figure it out before the big reveal. Read more

July 6, 2020

Tabletop Frontier: A Hand-Carved Model of a Mythic Old West Town

Collections

By: Josh Garrett-Davis, Gamble Associate Curator of Western History, Popular Culture, and Firearms

In the video below, the Autry’s Chief Conservator, Richard Moll, shows off a model frontier town carved by cowboy artist Gene Hoback. This meticulous creation is on deck to make its debut at the Autry in our renovated popular culture exhibition in the Ted and Marian Craver Imagination Gallery . This core exhibition will explore how the West has been imagined in many types of media—... Read more

June 23, 2020

Beautiful Music and the Myth of the West

Collections

by Cheryl Miller, Head, Library Metadata and Discovery Services

Covers of sheet music in the Autry Collections highlight one way the Myth of the West became entrenched in American society. In her book Frontier Figures: American Music and the Mythology of the American West, Beth Levy notes “different brands of Western Americana were absorbed into American culture by way of sheet music, radio, recitals, and film.” In the 1890s, as the sheet music industry grew and publishers competed for sales, they hired artists to make beautiful covers. The introduction of offset presses put fancy... Read more

June 22, 2020

Digitizing a Century of Native Voice and Song at the Autry

Collections / Library and Archives / Native Communities

By Yuri Shimoda, CLIR Recordings at Risk Intern, Autry Museum of the American West

In September 2018, the Autry received a Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Recordings at Risk grant to digitize hundreds of Native American songs, oral histories, field recordings, plays, and lectures captured on sound and audiovisual media from 1898 to 2007. The recordings were made across such a vast period of time that there were many different formats that needed to be digitized – from open reel tape, wire, and four types of discs to audiocassettes, CDs, and VHS tapes.

... Read more

June 12, 2020

The Autry's Collecting Community History Initiative: Black Lives Matter Protests in the West

Collection Initiative / Collections

Images from the Los Angeles Black Lives Matter protests following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery. Images taken by Rob Liggins in Hollywood, CA., Compton, CA., and Downtown Los Angeles, CA. in May/June 2020.

By: Tyree Boyd-Pates, Assoc. Curator of Western History

Several months ago, the Autry launched our Collecting Community History Initiative (CCHI): The West During COVID-19 as a response to the growing desire to collect the diverse stories and objects that pertain to the... Read more

June 10, 2020

The International Gay Rodeo Association Institutional Archives

Collections / LGBTQ+ Communities

By: Christina Hummel-Colla, Library Collections Assistant, and Josh Garrett-Davis, Gamble Assoc. Curator of Western History, Popular Culture, and Firearms

Gay rodeo bucked out of the gates near Reno, Nevada, in October 1976. Phil Ragsdale, local “Emperor” of the LGBTQ benevolent association the Imperial Court, planned the first rodeo as a benefit event for charity. The annual rodeo grew quickly, soon reaching over 10,000 attendees. In 1983 Denver hosted a second outpost of a growing consortium of state gay rodeo associations, followed by a Texas rodeo outside Houston in 1984. In... Read more

May 29, 2020

Manuela Garcia Sings: Now Streaming

Collections / Revealing Women in the Archives

By Liza Posas, Head, Research Services and Archives

“Manuela Garcia was Charles Lummis’s most important informant. She had a repertoire of songs that surpassed 200 or 300 in number and she recorded about 110 for Charles Lummis.” —Ethnomusicologist, Dr. John Koegel, in an interview by Huell Howser on a “lost episode” of the California Gold television series, 1996

“Miss Manuela C. Garcia of Los Angeles” sang over 100 Spanish language songs for Charles Fletcher Lummis between 1904 and 1905, which he recorded on to wax cylinder. These recordings became part of... Read more

May 20, 2020

Exhibitions as Data

Collections

By Julia Tcharfas, Collections Cataloger, Autry Museum of the American West

One goal of a museum is to conserve objects in perpetuity—stable and unchanged. By contrast, museum exhibitions are in constant state of flux. Temporary and traveling exhibits are regularly rotating within the gallery walls. Even the so-called permanent galleries undergo numerous transformations over the years.

Exhibitions come and go through a joint museum-wide effort. For museum curators, an exhibition is a carefully chosen group of objects and the... Read more