About the Exhibition
The most transformative project in the Autry's nearly 30-year history! Through immersive storytelling and nearly 20,000 square feet of gallery and garden spaces, California Continued shares how traditional ecological knowledge gained through centuries of experience can help present-day residents understand and care for the California environment. Two new exhibition galleries present extraordinary art, artifacts, and personal ephemera, including many objects from the Southwest Museum of the American Indian Collection on view for the very first time! Beyond the galleries, a new ethnobotanical garden features more than 60 Native plants and activities that explore how generations of peoples, especially First Californians, have made use of plants and water. Connecting and complementing each of the experiences, a dual-screen projection room reveals landscapes and close-ups across California, from deserts to the coasts.
Exhibition | The Life and Work of Mabel McKay
Explore the Autry’s first-ever solo show dedicated to a Native American woman’s life and work. Mabel McKay (1907–1993), a Long Valley Cache Creek Pomo woman from Northern California, represents a fascinating modern figure who maintained traditional ways. McKay is celebrated as a master basket weaver, traditional healer, advocate for her community and the environment, and teacher who shared her knowledge of Pomo traditions worldwide.
Exhibition | Human Nature
Focusing on four key California stories—Salmon, Fire, Desert, and Plants—Human Nature reveals how traditional ecological knowledge can help current residents understand and care for the environment. Vividly illustrated with Native American objects and contemporary artworks, photography, soundscapes, and multimedia displays, the exhibition investigates the ways in which culture and ecology merge in the California landscape.
Garden | Human Nature
In the outdoor ethnobotanical garden, discover more than 60 native California plant species and examples of their past and present uses. Designed by landscape architect Matthew Kennedy (Ponca), the 7,000-square-foot space comprises seating and relaxation areas, a wetlands cove, pond, waterfall, basalt columns, and a California Oak tree. An interactive digital guide offers detailed information about the garden’s many elements.
Media Experience | California Road Trip
Through the close-up dual projection film, embark on a virtual journey to California’s most scenic and varied landscapes. Sights include: the extreme desert climate of Death Valley, the lowest point in North America; the idyllic ocean bluffs of Big Sur and the central coastline; the starry skies of Joshua Tree; the majestic giants of the California Redwoods; and the supreme elevation and jagged granite faces of Mt. Whitney, unforgivingly the highest summit in the contiguous United States, reaching 14,505 feet into the clouds.
Highlights (Click image for details)
Another Project to Improve California Museums funded by the 2006 Clean Water Bond Act • California Continued is made possible through the generous support of Cindy and Alan Horn • Human Nature is presented by Bank of America • Support for Human Nature is provided by Marian and Ted Craver/Edison International • Support for The Life and Work of Mabel McKay is provided by the Paloheimo Foundation and Seven Post Investment Office.