The Autry Files

June 12, 2020

The Autry's Collecting Community History Initiative: Black Lives Matter Protests in the West

Collection Initiative / Collections

Images from the Los Angeles Black Lives Matter protests following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery. Images taken by Rob Liggins in Hollywood, CA., Compton, CA., and Downtown Los Angeles, CA. in May/June 2020.

By: Tyree Boyd-Pates, Assoc. Curator of Western History

Several months ago, the Autry launched our Collecting Community History Initiative (CCHI): The West During COVID-19 as a response to the growing desire to collect the diverse stories and objects that pertain to the... Read more

June 10, 2020

The International Gay Rodeo Association Institutional Archives

Collections / LGBTQ+ Communities

By: Christina Hummel-Colla, Library Collections Assistant, and Josh Garrett-Davis, Gamble Assoc. Curator of Western History, Popular Culture, and Firearms

Gay rodeo bucked out of the gates near Reno, Nevada, in October 1976. Phil Ragsdale, local “Emperor” of the LGBTQ benevolent association the Imperial Court, planned the first rodeo as a benefit event for charity. The annual rodeo grew quickly, soon reaching over 10,000 attendees. In 1983 Denver hosted a second outpost of a growing consortium of state gay rodeo associations, followed by a Texas rodeo outside Houston in 1984. In... Read more

June 9, 2020

Griffith Park Yarnscape 5: How to Crochet an Elderberry Leaf

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... Read more

May 29, 2020

Manuela Garcia Sings: Now Streaming

Collections / Library and Archives / Revealing Women in the Archives

By Liza Posas, Head, Research Services and Archives

“Manuela Garcia was Charles Lummis’s most important informant. She had a repertoire of songs that surpassed 200 or 300 in number and she recorded about 110 for Charles Lummis.” —Ethnomusicologist, Dr. John Koegel, in an interview by Huell Howser on a “lost episode” of the California Gold television series, 1996

“Miss Manuela C. Garcia of Los Angeles” sang over 100 Spanish language songs for Charles Fletcher Lummis between 1904 and 1905, which he recorded on to wax cylinder. These recordings became part of... Read more

May 26, 2020

The Autry's Collecting Community History Initiative: The West During COVID-19 Family Photos

Collection Initiative

By: Tyree Boyd-Pates, Assoc. Curator of the Western History

Last week, our Collecting Community History Initiative: The West During COVID-19 highlighted a diverse and cultural array of Face Masks submissions that we've received from across the West. Similarly this week's blog post highlights the diversity of family photography across the West during COVID-19.

Across the West, shelter-in-place orders have been placed, causing significant interruptions to how families—and their routines—operate. Considerate of those families, we wanted to offer glimpses into how families are... Read more

May 26, 2020

Griffith Park Yarnscape 4: How to Crochet a California Poppy

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

May 24, 2020

Is This a Western? (Episode 7): Arthouse Cinema

Is This a Western?

…In which our narrator tries to corral three high-concept suggestions from our series viewers. Read more

May 20, 2020

L.A. Poets in Place: Food

L.A. Poets in Place

By: Brittany Campbell, Public Engagement Manager

“Slide into a booth for the first time and hold that menu like a bible” Nikolai Garcia , Assistant Editor of Dryland & L.A. Poets in Place: Food Featured Poet

Move over “Before Christ” (b.c.) because the most immediate b.c. is now “Before Corona,” at least according to Nikolai. Introduced as a new concept of time, Nikolai located his practice of writing poetry as either before Corona, or amid the current pandemic. If you hadn’t guessed from the context clues in Nikolai’s quote above... Read more

May 20, 2020

Exhibitions as Data

Collections

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

One goal of a museum is to conserve objects in perpetuity—stable and unchanged. By contrast, museum exhibitions are in constant state of flux. Temporary and traveling exhibits are regularly rotating within the gallery walls. Even the so-called permanent galleries undergo numerous transformations over the years.

Exhibitions come and go through a joint museum-wide effort. For museum curators, an exhibition is a carefully chosen group of objects and the... Read more

May 15, 2020

Aloha Friday: A Love Story

Aloha Friday / 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