Blog Archives by Month

Posts for: April, 2020

April 20, 2020

Generosity in Unprecedented Times

Autry Campaign / Community

By: Jenny Davidson-Goldbronn, Senior Director of Development

Donors Bruce and Carol Johnston share what they love about the Autry, why they joined the Autry’s premier recognition society Curator's Circle , and why they did so now amidst unprecedented times.

Bruce and Carol have enjoyed Autry exhibitions, cultural activities, and special events for years, including ... Read more

April 17, 2020

America's Favorite Singing Cowboy

By: Victor Phillips, Director of Membership and Visitor Services

By the time Gene Autry realized his dream to open a museum that would tell the stories of the American West, his list of accomplishments was monumental. Sgt. Gene Autry proudly served in the Army Air Corps during WWII, where, among his duties, he ferried fuel, ammunition, and arms to Allied forces in the China-India-Burma theater. He was a successful businessman—his holdings included television and radio stations, music publishing corporations, and film production companies. In 1960 he purchased a... Read more

April 17, 2020

Aloha Friday: Truman’s Tropical Duds

Aloha Friday / Collections

By: Kristen Stalling, Museum Curator, Harry S Truman NHS/Independence Multi-Park Facility

This past Sunday, April 12, marked the 75 th anniversary of Franklin Roosevelt’s death and swearing in of Harry S Truman as 33 rd President of the United States. In the year that followed, President Truman secured victory in World War II, began reconstruction efforts and sought peace around the world. By the end of 1946, Truman badly needed a vacation. His personal physician suggested he get to a warm, secluded location to rest and rejuvenate. The Naval Station in Key West fit the bill and... Read more

April 16, 2020

L.A. Poets in Place: Neighborhoods

L.A. Poets in Place

“What makes a good poem of place?” asked Nikolai Garcia , Assistant Editor of Dryland Literary Journal. Is it tied to personal identity? Does it change if your writing about a place familiar or unknown?

“Poetry makes the old new and makes the new familiar” said Jenise Miller quoting Kevin Young, Poetry Editor of the New Yorker .

L.A. Poets in Place kicked off Friday, April 10 with over 100 people in attendance. The theme was neighborhoods and... Read more

April 14, 2020

Plants in the Archives?

By Cheryl Miller, Head, Library Metadata and Discovery Services; Liza Posas, Head, Research Services and Archives; Christina Hummel-Colla, Library Collections Assistant

While a museum Library and Archives might seem like the last place to find native California plants and trees, there actually is a virtual garden in the stacks. First, there is the manuscript collection of Frank A. Schilling, a member of the Conservation Association of Los Angeles County, founded in 1924 after a summer of devastating mountain wildfires. Schilling gave a series of lectures at the... Read more

April 14, 2020

Is This a Western? (Episode 3) One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Is this a Western?
This week Josh responds to a high school teacher who asks if Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a Western. Read more
April 13, 2020

Contemporary Viewpoints in a History Gallery: Photographs by Pep Williams in the special installation Behind Bars

Behind Bars / Exhibitions

In 2017 photographer Pep Williams gained the opportunity to photograph inmates in Chuckawalla Valley State Prison and Ironwood State Prison in Blythe, California. Several of his resulting photos offer a “contemporary viewpoint” alongside older artifacts in the Autry’s history galleries, in the special installation Behind Bars: Incarceration in the American West . In his prison photographs , Williams portrays... Read more

April 10, 2020

Aloha Friday: Aloha Anniversary

Aloha Friday / Exhibitions

By: Carolyn Brucken, Chief Curator, and Libby Short, Autry Member

When the Dress Codes teams issued a call for aloha shirts for the exhibition, we found a goldmine in the shirts collected over the years by Libby Short and Michael Friedman, longtime supporters and friends of the Autry Museum. In sitting down with Libby, I learned how aloha shirts are simultaneously loved as works of textile art and an expression of love over time. For this Aloha Friday blog, I invited Libby to share the story behind what has become one of my favorite shirts in the show... Read more

April 10, 2020

Happy Birthday Jane Withers

Collections / Revealing Women in the Archives

By: Caroline Sheehan, 2018-2019 Autry/Occidental College intern; Liza Posas, Head, Research Services and Archives

Jane Withers, actor, philanthropist, and doll collector, turns 94 this Sunday. A testament to the range of her life’s achievements can be found everywhere: in newspaper and magazine articles, film reel footage, and in archive collections like those held at the Autry.

Jane Withers was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 12, 1926. Her mother, Ruth, dreamt of having a child star, and gave her the name Jane so it would fit on a marquee. Her parents wasted no time in... Read more

April 6, 2020

Is this a Western? (Episode 2) Challenge: Frankenstein

Is this a Western?
Challenge: Frankenstein

The Autry’s media specialist, Anton Lieberman , suggested Frankenstein . Here’s how Josh responded: Read more