Autry Museum of the American West

Hidden Histories



Date / Time:

Thursday, May 13, 2010, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Appropriate For:



Free with museum admission


Purchase your ticket today at the Visitor Services Desk or call (323) 667-2000 ext. 389

Take a gallery tour and discover the untold stories of the Western LGBT community. Scholars and Autry curators tell the hidden stories behind some of the objects on display. Complimentary refreshments to be served with dinner available for purchase. Cash bar.  Doors open at 6:30.

[Anyone of any age is welcome to attend Hidden Histories. Because it is a scholarly lecture, it may not be suitable for very young children.]


Blake Allmendinger is a full professor in the English Department at UCLA, where he specializes in teaching the literature of the American West. He grew up on a cattle ranch in Colorado and was educated at Harvard, Oxford, and the University of Pennsylvania. He has authored four books, including The Cowboy (1992), Ten Most Wanted: The New Western Literature (1998), Over the Edge: Remapping the American West (1998), and Imagining the African American West (2005). He is currently writing a book that is part childhood memoir and part history of small towns in the American West.

Stephen Aron is a professor of history at UCLA and executive director of the Institute for the Study of the American West at the Autry National Center. A specialist in frontier and Western history, he is the author of How the West Was Lost: The Transformation of Kentucky from Daniel Boone to Henry Clay (1996) and American Confluence: The Missouri Frontier from Borderland to Border State (2006), coeditor of Trading Cultures: The Worlds of Western Merchants (2001), and coauthor of Worlds Together, Worlds Apart: A History of the World from the Beginnings of Humankind to the Present (2008).

Carolyn Brucken joined the Autry National Center in 2003 and is Associate Curator of Western Women’s History. Brucken received her PhD in American Civilization from George Washington University and her MA from the University of Delaware, Winterthur Program. She has developed exhibitions for the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles (1999–2003) and the National Archives in Washington DC (1994–1996). Brucken has also taught at Miami University and California State University–Fullerton. Her current and recent exhibition projects include Home Lands: How Women Made the West, the reinterpretation of the Autry’s historical galleries, and California Style: Art and Fashion From the California Historical Society

Gregory Hinton is the creator and producer of Out West: LGBT Stories of the American West. The son of a country newspaper editor, Hinton was born in Wolf Point, Montana, on the Fort Peck Reservation and reared in Cody, Wyoming. A graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a writing and film career. Hinton is currently working on his fifth novel, Night Rodeo. He holds a 2009 artist’s residency at Wyoming’s Ucross Foundation and a 2009 research honorarium from the Cody Institute for Western American Studies at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. Hinton has published four critically acclaimed novels: Cathedral City (2001), Desperate Hearts (2002), The Way Things Ought to Be (2003), and Santa Monica Canyon (2007). For its diverse social themes, Cathedral City is taught at the university level. 

Jeffrey Richardson came to the Autry National Center as the Autry/UNLV Fellow. He now is the Assistant Curator of Film and Popular Culture. He is currently working on his doctoral studies at the University of Nevada–Las Vegas. Richardson’s areas of specialization are 20th-century American culture and intellectual history, with a special emphasis on the history of the motion picture industry. Since joining the Autry, he has been working on the exhibitions Cowboys and Presidents and The New West, as well as lobby exhibits on Gene Autry and Monte Hale, and redoing cases in the Autry’s permanent galleries. 

The author of eight books, including The Front Runner, the most famous gay novel ever written, Patricia Nell Warren is also a renowned Western historian. Born in 1936 on the Grant-Kohrs Ranch in Deer Lodge, Montana, Warren has written and lectured extensively about her Montana roots, including in her novels One Is the Sun and The Fancy Dancer. A publisher of her own imprint, Wildcat Press, she is the recipient of the 1982 Western Heritage Award (magazine writing) from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, as well as the 2003 Barry Goldwater Human Rights Award. Warren is currently preparing an anthology titled My West, a collection of commentaries and essays that reflects half a century of writing about her native region, to be published in October 2010.

Independent scholar and curator Jim Wilke is a recognized authority on the American West, with a special emphasis on gay, lesbian, and transgender Western history and culture. He is also an established expert on the history of the American railroad. Born in Santa Monica, California, and a graduate of the University of Southern California, Wilke worked at the Autry National Center from 1989 to 1994 as an assistant curator. Formerly a rodeo competitor, Wilke was also a member of the Los Angeles Gay Rodeo Association from 1987 to 1993. 


The Out West series at the Autry National Center is made possible through the generous support of Tom Gregory, HBO, the Gill Foundation, and The Small Change Foundation, in association with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), and the Courage Campaign.


Ongoing Exhibit

Conquest Gallery

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

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