The Autry Files

April 3, 2020

The “Cowgirl of the Typewriter” Defied Stereotypes and Took the Reins

Collections

On August 29, 1948 Houston Chronicle Magazine ran an article that claimed it “could completely unnerve the boys who go in for the manly entertainment of the shoot’em-ups…that some of Hollywood’s wildest Westerns are screen written by a blue-eyed, blond-haired beauty from Houston who answers to the name of Frances Kavanaugh.” The story ran alongside photographs of Kavanaugh at her typewriter and working out scripts with directors, producers, and actors. It aptly showed off her curled hair and impeccable lipstick. The writing, as well as the images, grappled with the stereotypes of... Read more

April 3, 2020

Aloha Friday: The Wild West Meets the Spirit of Aloha

Aloha Friday / Collections / Exhibitions
CURATORIAL STATEMENT

Over the past four years we have been working on Dress Codes , an exhibition that looks at clothing and street fashions that emerged from Western work, communities, traditions, and social movements and which are now adapted around the world.

The Autry’s mission is to tell the diverse stories of the American West. We support a community where all feel welcome and safe. When we started this project, we did not foresee how Aloha shirts, whose long history we explore in this... Read more

April 1, 2020

The Autry Donates Personal Protection Equipment to Area Hospitals

Collections

In recent weeks, we have all been hearing about a shortage in many US hospitals of the personal protection equipment needed to protect healthcare workers as they care for sick patients. Museum staff, compelled by these stories, rallied to donate surplus supplies already on hand to hospitals in need. I’m pleased to share that, to date, the Autry has donated almost 200 N95 masks and 13,000 pairs of gloves to three area hospitals. While a modest gesture, we wanted to do anything we could for the community at large. Read more

April 1, 2020

Is This a Western? Episode 1: The Challenge

Is this a Western?

If you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail. If you’re a curator of Western history, popular culture, and firearms at the Autry, everything looks like a Western. Playing on his recent book, What Is a Western? Region, Genre, Imagination and the museum’s wide-ranging film series, Autry curator Josh Garrett-Davis can take any film, song, book, or pop culture reference and explain how it loosely relates to the mythology of the American West. We invite you to... Read more

March 30, 2020

Aloha Fridays

Aloha Friday / Collections / Exhibitions
CURATORIAL STATEMENT

Over the past four years we have been working on Dress Codes , an exhibition that looks at clothing and street fashions that emerged from Western work, communities, traditions, and social movements and which are now adapted around the world.

The Autry’s mission is to tell the diverse stories of the American West. We support a community where all feel welcome and safe. When we started this project, we did not foresee how Aloha shirts, whose long history we explore in this... Read more

March 27, 2020

Sky King, Penny, and Nada Surf

Collections

For many, this familiar opening to the 1950s television series also meant sharing the adventures of Penny, the teenage niece of Uncle Sky (Grant Kirby), title character in the television series. Actress Gloria Winters-Vernon, who played Penny, passed away on August 14, 2010. She was a generous friend to the Autry National Center who donated many items from her television, film and personal appearance career including photographs, costume, scripts, and publicity materials from “Sky King.” Read more

August 7, 2019

Indian War Photographs

Collections

By Julia Tcharfas, Collections Cataloger, Autry Museum of the American West

Those browsing the Autry’s Collections online will sometimes come across a “binder” icon on the upper-right-hand corner of the page. This icon is reserved for certain items in the archives and manuscripts collections that one might want to browse, page-by-page, in high resolution. Clicking on the binder icon will open a new window. This not only makes the documents easier to read, it also draws attention to the physicality of... Read more

July 15, 2019

Jean Bruce Scott and Randy Reinholz Reflect on 25 Years of Native Voices

Now celebrating 25 years as a theatre company—20 of them at the Autry— Native Voices is devoted to developing and producing new works for the stage by Native American, Alaska Native, and First Nations playwrights. Native Voices’ co-founders Jean Bruce Scott and Randy Reinholz (Choctaw) are known across the country for their tireless passion and advocacy for Native theatre. Their passion abides, but they have decided that it is time to recruit and guide the next generation of Native Voices leadership.... Read more

April 30, 2019

The Autry's Rube Goldberg Device

Exhibitions
The Autry recently added a Rube Goldberg Machine to the Investigating Griffith Park exhibition. Co-Curator Carolyn Brucken sat down with Landon Jones, a museum Preparator and the builder of the Rube Goldberg machine, to ask a few questions:

What is a Rube Goldberg Machine anyway?

Reuben Garrett Luscious Goldberg (1883-1970) was a satirical cartoonist who became famous for his drawings of humorously impractical mechanisms, published nationally in The New York Evening Mail... Read more

January 3, 2019

In Memory of a Friend, Dr. Loren G. Lipson

Collections

By Julia Tcharfas, Collections Cataloger, Autry Museum of the American West

This September the Autry Museum unveiled a new exhibition, Grounded: Contemporary Ceramics, Gifts of Dr. Loren G. Lipson . The display, like the man who donated these and many other works of art in the Autry collections, is a vibrant, colorful, and powerful presence, one that speaks to the dynamic nature of contemporary art. Sadly and unexpectedly, a month after the opening, the Autry Museum also... Read more