The Autry Files

November 20, 2020

Women’s Stories Found in the Native Voices Archives

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

The rich archive of the Native Voices theatre company reflects 26 years of Native storytelling in which women’s stories always played a prominent role. As the only Equity theater company in America devoted exclusively to developing and producing new theatre works by Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and First Nations playwrights, Native Voices was... Read more

October 29, 2020

Excavating Stories of Women Archaeologists in the Archive

Collections / Revealing Women in the Archives

By Victoria Bernal, Women in the Archives Social Media Manager

* Thank you to archaeologist Karimah Richardson and archivist Liza Posas for their insights on the importance of the women archaeologists’ archives at The Autry.

In commemorating October as both Archives Month and Archaeology Month, we dug into the archives of several women archaeologists in the Autry’s collections. Archaeologists Frances Watkins, Ruth Simpson, and Bertha Parker Cody each played a role in the archeological efforts of the Southwest Museum, the first museum in Los Angeles to promote both... Read more

October 13, 2020

CCHI: Electoral Politics in the West

Collection Initiative / Collections / Community
By Tyree Boyd-Pates, Associate Curator of Western History

This April, the Autry launched our Collecting Community History Initiative (CCHI) to respond to the growing desire to collect the diverse stories and objects about the American West during this epidemic. Since then, we have launched two iterations, The West During COVID-19 and... Read more

October 12, 2020

The Alcatraz Logbook: Signs of Red Power

Community / Native Communities
By Joe D. Horse Capture, Vice President of Native Collections and Ahmanson Curator

It's one of the most significant artifacts of the Red Power era.

Kent Blansett Founder and Executive Director American Indian Digital History Project

Occupation of Alcatraz

On November 20, 1969, a group of Native Americans landed and occupied Alcatraz Island for 19 months. The initial group of over eighty occupiers referred to themselves as “Indians of All Tribes” reflecting the diversity of Native Americans in the Bay Area during this time period. The... Read more

September 28, 2020

Griffith Park Yarnscape 9: How to Crochet a Merry-go-round Horse

DIY / Exhibitions

Have you had enough passive screen-time and want to make something with your hands, maybe learning a new skill in the process? Join us in contributing to a gallery display of Griffith Park in crochet, with the help of these how-to videos.  

As part of our exhibition Investigating Griffith Park we’re inviting the Autry community to make pieces to represent various aspects of the park, from nature to recreational activities, and mail them into the Autry (or drop them off in person once the... Read more

September 28, 2020

Cooking Up the New West: A Brief History of Soul Food in Los Angeles

African American Communities / Collections / Community
By   Kyrie Blackman, Getty Marrow Intern

Love soul food? Even though the American South is a couple of thousand miles away, Los Angeles, California, is home to many African American soul food eateries steeped in a history of migration worth celebration. During the mid-1960s, the term “soul food” was adopted because of the popularity of the word “soul” to describe African American culture. Steeped in a history of enslavement in the American South and lack of access to quality ingredients, African American cooks had to make do with what they had available with ingredients post-emancipation,... Read more

September 25, 2020

Way to a Heart: How Pandemic Cooking Re-United a Family

Collections / Community / DIY / Library and Archives / Revealing Women in the Archives
By Christina Lehua Hummel-Colla, Library Collections Assistant

Since childhood, one of my favorite social activities has been cooking and baking with friends and loved ones. In high school, I baked cakes, cookies, and even a flan with two of my best friends. As an undergrad, I would squeeze into the dormitory’s kitchen to make treats with my roommate and our shared friends. Over the past year, I have learned whole new ways of cooking with two members of my chosen family, Molly and Timber. Neither of them eats eggs, and Molly maintains a vegan and gluten free diet. When we cook together, we... Read more

September 24, 2020

How the Pandemic Redefined Family Dinners

Collections / Community / DIY / Library and Archives / Revealing Women in the Archives
By: Keisha Raines, Communications and Digital Marketing Manager

I wouldn’t call myself a great cook. I have signature dishes, but I also still have to Google “how to hard boil an egg” because I never commit the sequence and time to memory. I wouldn’t even say I enjoy cooking because most the time I was cooking for one and where’s the fun in that? Before the pandemic, I made quick meals in between work and going out. Usually eggs in some form or a stir fry. I prepared salads for work lunches that I would eat at my desk, shoving greens into my mouth like some sort of deranged rabbit. On the... Read more

September 15, 2020

Happy Birthday to the Adventurous Caroline Boeing Poole

Collections / Library and Archives / Revealing Women in the Archives

By Victoria Bernal, Women in the Archives Social Media Manager

Before the Autry received her personal papers in 2018, little was widely known about socialite Caroline Boeing Poole, including her birthday. Born in Detroit on September 16, 1884, Caroline Boeing Poole was mostly remembered for the books she commissioned, her unparalleled collection of Native American baskets and an elegant oil-painted portrait of her in a blue evening gown that once hung in the National Portrait Gallery.

General biographic details could be surmised from past headlines that... Read more

September 10, 2020

Megan Thee Stallion: Rap, Anime, and the Imagined West

African American Communities

By Kyrie Blackman, Getty Marrow Undergraduate Intern for the Autry’s Collecting Community History Initiative

The Autry is preparing for a new exhibit, slated to open in 2021, called Imagined Wests . What does that even mean? How does one imagine the American West? There are no right or wrong answers to these questions; your answers may vary based on how old you are or where you live. We are all connected to the West in more ways than one may think. There is an interconnectedness that reaches far past American soil, and many artists use their platforms to... Read more