THE AUTRY NATIONAL CENTER, L.A.'s premier museum on all things Western.
(also comes in on our list thus far as favorite museum)
Gene Autry. The man. The legend. America knew him as their “favorite singing cowboy.” He was the straight shooting hero of the Hollywood Western. To date, he’s the only person with five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He brought the nation the song, “Back in the Saddle Again.” There’s even a town in Oklahoma named after him.
As part of his legacy, Autry co-founded what is now known as the Autry National Center of the American West at Griffith Park. And folks, the museum is kick-ass. It is dedicated to exploring the American West and the multiple cultures, perspectives, traditions and experiences that helped shape it.
The museum is organized thematically, rather than chronologically. So, there are paintings, next to sculptures, next to crafts, photography, textiles, video and dress up clothes. It’s informative, interactive and exceptionally approachable as far as museums go. There are two floors of Galleries, and each room has new surprises.
Go to the Autry before January 3rd, 2016 to see the special exhibition, Empire and Liberty: The Civil War and the American West. Highly recommended.
Ongoing Exhibitions, include: Art of the West, Western Frontiers: Stories of Fact and Fiction, Four Centuries of Pueblo Pottery, The Colt Revolver in the American West, and the Imagination Gallery. There are also several rotating exhibitions.
Tuesday - Friday: 10:00am - 4:00pm
Saturday - Sunday: 10:00am - 5:00 pm
Autry Members: Free
Students (with current ID) and Seniors (60+): $6
Children (3-12): $4
Children under 3: Free
*Free with current ID for active military and veterans
Take Note: The Autry is directly across from the LA Zoo. On a hot day, opt for the Autry.
Just for Fun: Brush up on some cowboy lingo before you go Autry.
- Coons age = Long time: I haven’t seen you in a coons age.
- Get a wiggle on = hurry: It’s 10:00am, Autry’s open. Get a wiggle on, kids!
- Plumb = Totally: I’m plumb tuckered out, Bessie.
- “Ornery as a mama bear with sore teat.”
- “Always drink upstream from the heard.”/ “Don’t squat with your spurs on." - Will Rogers
- “The bigger the man’s gun, the smaller his doodlewick.” - Calamity Jane