The Autry Museum of the American West receives award from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The National Endowment for the Humanities, the independent grant-making agency of the United States government, has awarded the Autry Museum of the American West a grant totaling $400,000 to re-envision its current popular culture gallery as Imagined Wests, a new exhibition designed to expand public conceptions of the American West in mass media and the arts.
The exhibition will feature hundreds of objects from across the Autry’s collections. It will open in the 5,000-square-foot space in the Ted and Marian Craver Imagination Gallery. For 30 years the Imagination Gallery has focused on how Western film has evolved as a response to social and cultural changes taking place throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.
“The new exhibition will weave the historic Imagination Gallery spirit together with new ideas and themes thoroughly embedded in the 21st century,” says W. Richard West Jr. (Southern Cheyenne), president and CEO of the Autry. “With the support of the NEH, Imagined Wests will highlight the important roles the many diverse communities in the West have played, and continue to play, in shaping the real and imagined West.”
The project director for Imagined Wests is Josh Garrett-davis, the Autry’s Gamble Assistant Curator of Western History, Popular Culture, and Firearms. “Imagined Wests will place our wonderful collections around cowboy Westerns in dialogue with many other, often overlapping, ‘imagined Wests’ in popular culture,” says Garrett-davis. “These include the imagined Southwest and Latin American borderlands, ‘Indian Country’ as envisioned by both Native and non-native creators, the sublime Western wilderness, and even the urban and suburban West. Not only film and television, but music, fashion, architecture, literature, and museums themselves have been— and remain—places to imagine and re-imagine the West.”
Imagined Wests is expected to open in the spring of 2021. For more information visit www.theautry.org.
A Western gallery inside the Autry.
Museums guests examine artwork in one of the museum’s galleries.
The Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles.