The Autry

The Autry Museum of the American West

Kayte Deioma

Whether you're a fan of cowboys and Indians as you've seen them in the movies or as you've learned about them in real life, The Autry has the best collection around of artifacts of the real West and the celluloid West.

01 of 16

The Autry Museum

The Autry National Center in Griffith Park
Photo © 2005 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

Autry National Center
4700 Western Heritage Way
Los Angeles, CA 90027-1462
(323) 667-2000
theautry.org
Museum and Store Hours
10:00 am – 4:00 pm Tue-Fri
10:00 am – 5:00 pm Sat-Sun
Closed Mondays, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day
Crossroads West Café Hours:
Tuesday-Friday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, Saturday-Sunday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Discounts: The Autry is included in the Go Los Angeles Card. The Entertainment Book includes a 2 for 1 discount. You may also occasionally find discounted Autry tickets on sites like Groupon, Living Social and Goldstar.
Free Days: Free to the public on the second Tuesday of every month, New Year's Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and Presidents' Day.

The Autry National Center includes the Autry Museum at Griffith Park, the Southwest Museum at Mt. Washington and the Autry Institute, which includes the Autry Research Library and the Braun Research Library. The Autry's extensive collections focus on Native American cultures and the history of the American West, including the depiction of both in art, movies, television and popular culture.

The Autry in Griffith Park was originally know as the Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage. It was founded by Gene and Jackie Autry and Monte and Joanne Hale to interpret the American West and its influence in America and the world. Given Gene Autry's role as cowboy singer and actor, it's not surprising that a significant amount of museum space is given to the portrayal of the American West in TV and movies, and the lives and contributions of famous cowboy (and cowgirl and Indian) actors and singers.

Permanent exhibits include Art of the West, a Cowboy Gallery that interprets the cowboy experience in the West from the early open range era through modern times; Four Centuries of Pueblo Pottery; the Imagination Gallery, that highlights the Hollywood West; the Community Gallery which compares how eight different ethnic communities lived in the Old West, a Family Discovery Gallery, and more.

The Autry in Griffith Park also has one of my favorite museum gift shops and the Crossroads West Café.

The Autry hosts a number of annual festival and events including the Cowboy Festival in July, the American Arts Marketplace in November and the Sizzling Summer Nights Summer Concert Series.

The Autry is located directly across from the entrance to the LA Zoo and can be accessed from Zoo Drive off the I5 Freeway and Riverside Drive from SR 134 (Ventura Freeway).

The Southwest Museum

The Southwest Museum Mount Washington Campus is the oldest museum in Los Angeles. It is the original location of the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, which opened in 1907. A significant portion of the Southwest Museum Collection is now on display at The Autry in Griffith Park. Most of the Southwest Museum is now closed to the public and used for conservation efforts, but there are a few galleries open on Saturdays only.

Take the photo tour on the next pages to see a sample of what you'll find at the Autry in Griffith Park.

Continue to 2 of 16 below.
02 of 16

Gene Autry Statue

Gene Autry Statue at The Autry
Photo © 2012 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

A bronze statue of Gene Autry graces the courtyard at the Autry in Griffith Park.

Continue to 3 of 16 below.
03 of 16

Gene Autry Exhibit

Gene Autry Exhibit
Photo © 2012 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

In the Gene Autry exhibit at The Autry Museum, you'll learn that in addition to having five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for radio, records, film, television and live theatrical performance, Gene Autry was owner of the Angels baseball team.

Continue to 4 of 16 below.
04 of 16

Murals at the Autry

Murals at The Autry
Photo © 2012 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

Murals depicting people and events from California history line the walls of the atrium at The Autry in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, CA

Continue to 5 of 16 below.
05 of 16

Spirit of Imagination

Spirit of Imagination at The Autry
Photo © 2012 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

The Spirit of Imagination takes you onto a Hollywood Old West set complete with false facades.

Continue to 6 of 16 below.
06 of 16

Riding Lesson at The Autry

Riding Lesson at The Autry
Photo © 2012 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

In the Spirit of Imagination Exhibit, you can mount a fake pony to test out the green/blue screen effect that drops a background in behind you.

Continue to 7 of 16 below.
07 of 16

Interactive Exhibit at The Autry

Interactive multimedia exhibit at The Autry
Photo © 2012 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

Father and daughter check out a child-level multimedia panel at The Autry in Griffith Park

Continue to 8 of 16 below.
08 of 16

Autry Scavenger Hunt

Autry Scavenger Hunt
Photo © 2012 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

Pick up the Autry Scavenger Hunt booklet at the Information Desk to answer trivia questions as you go through the museum.

Continue to 9 of 16 below.
09 of 16

Roy Roger's Saddle

Roy Roger Saddle
Photo © 2012 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

Roy Roger's hand-painted plastic saddle is on display at the Autry Museum in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, CA

Continue to 10 of 16 below.
10 of 16

Trappings from the 1850s

Trappings from the 1850s at the Autry
Photo © 2012 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

The Autry exhibits a variety of clothing and artifacts from the Old West from various social classes and ethnic groups.

Continue to 11 of 16 below.
11 of 16

A Soldier's Life

Military Exhibit at the Autry
Photo © 2012 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

The accoutrements of a soldier's life in the Old West on exhibit at The Autry in Griffith Park.

Continue to 12 of 16 below.
12 of 16

Western Piano

Western Furniture Exhibit at the Autry
Photo © 2012 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

Indian and Western-themed furnishings at The Autry in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, CA

Continue to 13 of 16 below.
13 of 16

Michael Jackson's Costumes

Michael Jackson costumes at The Autry
Photo © 2012 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

Michael Jackson had his favorite costume designer create several costumes inspired by a particular pair of cowboy boots. Two costumes and some shiny boots are on exhibit at The Autry.

Continue to 14 of 16 below.
14 of 16

Cowgirls and Buffalos

Cowgirls at the Autry Museum
Photo © 2012 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

Mother and daughter in cowboy hats learn about American Bison AKA buffalo at The Autry in Griffith Park.

Continue to 15 of 16 below.
15 of 16

Live Music at The Autry

Live Music at the Autry
Photo © 2012 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

In addition to Sizzling Summer Nights Concerts, The Autry hosts a variety of live music events throughout the year. Check the Calendar for upcoming events.

Continue to 16 of 16 below.
16 of 16

Cowboy Festival at the Autry

Cowboy Festival at The Autry
Photo © 2012 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

Cowboys demonstrate lasso techniques to children at the Cowboy Festival at The Autry in Griffith Park.

Was this page helpful?