The Original Imagination Gallery: A Look Back

Online Exhibition

About the Exhibition

Supposedly, cowboys and cowgirls don’t cry. But we all dabbed our eyes with a bandanna when we closed the Autry’s classic Ted and Marian Craver Imagination Gallery for approximately a year of renovations. We are excited to refresh our “Spirit of Imagination” after 33 years, protecting the artifacts and updating the themes and design. In the meantime, we are proud to present this virtual look back at the original Imagination Gallery. 

Virtual Tour 

Experience this walk-through virtual tour of the Imagination gallery! Please pardon our dust, as this experience was “filmed” after the museum had closed to the public due to the pandemic. Presented courtesy of PBS Engineers, Inc. 

Autry Artists Salon and Imagined Wests  

Enjoy this recent conversation with artist Lewis deSoto (Cahuilla ancestry) and Josh Garrett-Davis, Gamble Associate Curator of Western History, Popular Culture, and Firearms. Garrett-Davis speaks with Lewis deSoto about his monumental piece Cahuilla (2006), a transformed 1980s pickup truck that will serve as an anchor in the new core exhibition Imagined Wests, located in the Craver Imagination Gallery. The discussion includes a sneak preview of that exhibition-in-development about popular culture storytelling of the American West. 

Additional Sneak Preview 

Catch a sneak preview of one of the artifacts that will grace the renovated core exhibition Imagined Wests. In this short video, the Autry’s Chief Conservator, Richard Moll, shows off a miniature Old West town hand carved by artist Gene Hoback. A working cowboy on California ranches as well as on movie sets, Hoback sold meticulous models to collectors, including the family of Caryll and Dr. Norman F. Sprague Jr., who donated this one to the Autry.  

In “Tabletop Frontier,” the blog post accompanying this video, curator Josh Garrett-Davis writes that Imagined Wests “will explore how the West has been imagined in many types of media—movies and television, sure, but also other forms of what anthropologists call ‘expressive culture,’ including wood carvings.” 

Video Walkthrough 

Stay tuned for an extended video walkthrough!  


Sprit of Imagination Gallery Walkthrough