College and University Education Resources

Below you will find Autry Education Resources for College and Universities. All "Lessons" are designed to do as a whole or to do parts as individual lessons. Lessons and other edcuational resources are easily adaptible for different college courses. If you would like to subscribe for Autry Education updates, please sign up at education@theautry.org or follow us on social media.

The Autry also offers the Autry Classroom Curator (ACC) program, a partnership where the Autry works with professors and their students to bring the American West, past and present, into classes via interactive presentations, guest speakers, and public projects. The ACC program is flexible and offers both Autry facilitated programs and/or co-development of activities with the professor and/or the students. For more information on Autry Classroom Curators in Colleges, contact outreach@theautry.org.


Lessons

History-Social Studies

  • Westward Expansion Art Analysis: Using the famous painting on display at the Autry Museum, American Progress, by John Gast, students learn about Westward Expansion through a guided analysis. Student not only explore what's in the painting, but analyze what or who is not. Students are also given the opportunity to tell their own American West story by interviewing family members and creating their own art.
  • Civil Rights for African Americans in Early California: Using primary sources, students will learn that the fight against discriminatory government policies against African Americans began long before the Civil Rights movements in the 1950s and 60s. Focusing on early California (1849-1865), students will learn about the state’s discriminatory policy towards African Americans, analyze how African Americans fought against these policies, and evaluate the result. Students are given the opportunity to connect to today by researching how Black Americans are still battling for equal rights today and connect to themselves and their community by exploring discrimination in their own lives and ways to take action against it. 
  • Women's Suffrage in the West: Students will learn the how the American West led the way in the fight for women’s suffrage in the United States. Students will investigate how the women’s right to vote was won in each of the western states using "State Suffrage Cards" and analyze the types of suffrage granted in each state or territory in the West. They will compare suffrage in the West with overall suffrage in the United States. Students are encouraged to research current rights for women in the United States today. Teacher guide/key (See also the video series: Women of Color Suffragists)
  • Japanese Incarceration: Students will learn about the forced removal and incarceration of the Japanese American community during World War II by analyzing multiple sources (e.g., artwork, map, object label, oral histories, photographs, poster, report, and video). They will also learn about how the Japanese American community resisted being forcibly removed and incarcerated and what life was like for the Japanese American community after incarceration. Students will then have the opportunity to plan and create their own sources, write about them, and share their work with others.
  • Exploring Black Lives Matters: Students will learn about the Black Lives Matter Movement and some of the individuals who were taken too soon by analyzing an image, reading a blog post, watching a video, and answering questions. Students will then pick an individual they learned about during the lesson, research the life and death of the individual, and share their learning with others through a project of their choice.

Art and Activism

  • Art and Activism: Gold Rush: Students explore the connection between art and activism by analyzing art about the Gold Rush from a Native American perspective, Nisenan Maidu Harry Fonseca's The Discovery of Gold in California Series which is on display in the Autry Museum. This lesson asks student to Relate (connect social issues to their own lives), Investigate (investigate art that incorporates activism) and Create (their own artwork or activism action project).
  • Art and Activism: Desert Communities: Students explore the connection between art and activism by analyzing a modern-day sculpture from Gerald Clarke Jr., a member of the desert community of Cahuilla Native Americans, on display at the Autry. Students are also invited to participate in activism by creating their own sculpture using materials from nature and around the home. This lesson asks student to Relate (connect social issues to their own lives), Investigate (investigate art that incorporates activism) and Create (their own artwork or activism action project).
  • When I Remember I See Red: Art and Activism in California: Students will analyze art and object labels from the When I Remember I See Red: American Indian Art and Activism in California exhibition. The art featured in this exhibition highlights the culture, history, identity, and traditions of different Native American communities along with the injustices they have faced. Then each student will create their own artwork and object label to tell the story of one of their own communities.
  • Art and Activism: Betye Saar: Students will learn that creating art is one of the ways that people can take action to help create change in their communities. Students will analyze a work of art by Betye Saar who uses her art to confront and challenge the racism and discrimination experienced by Black Americans. Then students will make hypotheses about the artwork. Next, students will prove or disprove their hypotheses by analyzing object labels and artist’s quotes. Finally, students will help create change in their communities by creating and sharing their own artwork, object labels, and artist’s quotes.
  • Art and Activism: Black Lives Matter:  Students will learn that creating art is one of the ways that people can take action to help create change in their communities. Students will analyze artwork from the Autry's Collecting Community History Initiative: Black Lives Matter. Students will then make hypotheses about the artwork. Next, students will prove or disprove their hypotheses by analyzing object labels and artist’s quotes. Finally, students will help create change in their communities by creating and sharing their own artwork, object labels, and artist’s quotes. Students will also learn more about LA-based artist Imani Parker through an extension activity.

Primary Source Collections

Autry Primary Source Collections by time period, communities and topics of the American West. The Autry collections don't tell the full story, but provide a part of story of the American West. The objects in each Collection Topic were chosen to convey the various stories of the West but were also chosen for to encompass various time periods when possible, a variety of mediums, and different subject matter - ie. objects, landscapes, people. Both students and teachers can use the primary sources for more in-depth study of certain topics and for presentations.

Interactive Media

Interactive media allow students to explore different topics of the American West by engaging with audio, text, images, music and video. The interactive media activities are interdisciplinary addressing vocabulary, geography, history, art and more. 

Videos


Educational Programs at the Autry are sponsored by:

PHYLLIS H. BARBATO • MOLLY AND NEAL H. BROCKMEYER • FRANK H. COUNTNER AND SUSAN L. COUNTNER • DWIGHT STUART YOUTH FUND • EDISON INTERNATIONAL • DAVID F. EISENBERG • GEORGINA-FREDRICK CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION • THE KENNETH T. AND EILEEN L. NORRIS FOUNDATION • MAX H. GLUCK FOUNDATION • CHRISTY AND STEVE MCAVOY • ANN C. RONUS AND ROBERT E. RONUS • THE STEINMETZ FOUNDATION • VIRGINIA F. STEVENSON • UNION BANK • U.S. BANK