The Autry National Center is a museum dedicated to bringing together the stories of all peoples of the American West, connecting the past with the present to inspire the shared future. The museum presents a wide range of exhibitions and public programs, including lectures, film, theater, festivals, family events, and music, and performs scholarship, research, and educational outreach. It attracts about 150,000 visitors annually.
The Autry was established in 1988 by the actor and businessman Gene Autry (as "Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum") to explore and share the comprehensive story of the American West and the multiple cultures, perspectives, traditions, and experiences–real and imagined–that make the West significant. Its Griffith Park collection includes 21,000 paintings, sculptures, costumes, textiles, firearms, tools, toys, musical instruments, and other objects. The museum presents thought-provoking contemporary and historical exhibitions, year-round programs for children, intellectual forums, and the acclaimed Native Voices at the Autry performing arts series. The museum is located in Griffith Park across from the Los Angeles Zoo.
The Autry's Southwest Museum of the American Indian Collection of Native American art is one of the most significant and representative of its kind in the United States, second only to the Smithsonian InstitutionNational Museum of the American Indian. The 238,000-piece collection includes 14,000 baskets, 10,000 ceramic items, 6,300 textiles and weavings, and more than 1,100 pieces of jewelry, representing Indigenous peoples from Alaska to South America, with an emphasis on cultures from California and the Southwestern United States.
The Autry Institute, which includes the collections of the Braun Research Library and the Autry Library, is a research and publishing enterprise that produces and supports scholarly work in Western history and the arts. In 2002, the Women of the West Museum of Colorado merged with the Institute, infusing the Autry’s focus with a scholarly and educational emphasis on gender issues and women’s experiences in the American West.