Jennifer of the American Indian merged with

JenniferBrownleeProfessor MerazCH S 24512 December 2017Final ProjectIvisited the Autry Museum of the American West in Griffith Park. The AutryMuseum was originally named the Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage from thefounder Gene Autry.

The name was changed because of they were on the verge offinancial bankruptcy and some of the buildings and the collection were in needof significant care and investment. Thus the Southwest Museum of the AmericanIndian merged with the Autry Museum of Western Heritage and creating an almostnew organization was formed, which is now knows as the Autry Museum of AmericanWest. The Autry Museum discovers the art, history, and cultures of the AmericanWest.

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It is filled with artifacts, historic firearms, Native American art, andso much more. I have never been to the Autry Museum of the American West beforeand walking in was really cool. My first impressions walking into the museumwas wow. I did not expect the museum to look how it did. Walking in there wasjust a huge ceiling and pictures all around. I was very surprised walking inand almost if not everything caught my eye. Some of the exhibits include: LARAZA, Harry Gamboa Jr.: Chicano Male Unbonded, Play!, California Continued, Artof the West, and much more.

LA RAZA was a voice to the Chicano Rights Movement.La Raza was composed by Mexican writer Jose Vasconcelos in his 1925 essay ” LaRaza Cosmica.” The literal translation is the race and the term is more oftenused to express the concept of the people. La Raza was used during the CivilRights era as a celebration of their mixed background. Between the years1967-1977 the Chicano/a newspaper turned magazine La Raza was witness to andparticipant in the struggle for social justice as it unraveled across LosAngeles and into the world. Photographs were taken of the movement.

Thesepictures are shows throughout the exhibit. The photographs are taken to testifyto the unique concerns of the Chicano/a movement, but also to transform andtell of the historical context of the newspaper. As well many of thephotographs taken were not published, but they are still mentioned andappreciated today and the photographs and activism in the ongoing struggle forhuman rights across the globe. The photographers for La Raza did not get paidfor their work and risked their own personal safety and arrest to create avisual record of the Chicano/a movement. The children played a key role withinLa Raza because they witness or experienced racism directly, and many wereactive protestors and demonstrations. I found this exhibit interesting becauseI have heard of La Raza but I was not very sure what it was all about, soseeing everything that went on was interesting. I enjoyed walking through thisexhibit and seeing and reading all the aspects made me want to keep learningabout it and trying to understand what the Chicano/a movement was all about.

 Another exhibit Harry Gamboa Jr.: Chicano Maleunbounded is an exhibit that is temporarily at the Autry Museum, now throughAugust 5, 2018. This exhibit is realted to the LA RAZA exhibition. Harry GamboaJr. was a photographer, essayist, and a performance artist. He investigates therelationship between the stereotypes of Mexican American men and the far morediverse community of academics, performers, artists, writers, and othercreative thinkers who identify as a Chicano/a in his series. Harry’s interestwas in political activism and artistic intervention and can be traced to theEast Los Angeles Walkouts of 1968. There was not a big exhibit of Harry GamboaJr.

His exhibit included a brief description of who he was and some of hisphotos. The exhibit Play! caught my eye because it is a whole air filled withtoys and games. Play! is temporarily at the Autry Museum, now through January7, 2018. This exhibit is able to use the role of toys and games across culturesand over time to catch people’s eyes. This features dolls, board games, videogames, outdoor activities, a teddy bear, and many more. It gives a good look athow the West inspired imagination. This exhibit is hands on and the visitorsare encouraged to play with the games and be hands on with all the activitiesto see the games of the past and present.

Even though I am in college and I aman adult, I am still a kid at heart. I like going and playing with some certainkids toys that are fun and go out and do things that make me feel like a kidagain. This exhibit felt like it was like being outside on a playground. Therewere so many different activities for the kids. There was a tree made out of manydifferent things like wheels, a dollhouse, drums, a train, and many more. Theycreated a giant indoor dollhouse that kids were able to play in the kitchen andin the dining room or the living room. There were also toys that showed howthey use to be back in history and how they are now.

One of the examples thatthey gave was the difference of television and toys. They used the example ofDisney, how the look of Mickey Mouse looked from back then to now and the differencein the toys. They also had a stage for the kids to play and create their ownplays. I liked this exhibit because it was hands on and interactive which issomething that I found fun and interesting. The California Continued is anongoing exhibit at the Autry Museum. This exhibit shares the traditions ofecological knowledge gained through centuries experiences can help present daypeople understand and care for California’s environment. This exhibit includesa garden to show the ecological knowledge of present day environment dilemmasin the American West. The garden is an ethno botanical garden, which discoversthe traditional and contemporary uses of more than 60 native California plants.

I found this exhibit very relaxing because it was outside quiet. There was awaterfall and a small river that made it so peaceful. It was such a nice dayoutside, having the waterfall sound right behind it all made it very relaxingand enjoyable. This exhibit is probably one of my favorites because I thinkthat it is a place that you can escape and just relax and catch up withyourself with the sound of the waterfall in the background. Theexhibition Art of the West is an ongoing exhibit and is a dynamic and evolvingworld of art from cultural practices and some of the people who shared valuesand interests have inspired artists from different cultures. The artistscreated powerful works that can speak of their experiences of the West as botha destination and as a home. The works of art are organized around a fewthemes: religion and ritual, land and landscape, and migration and movement.

      TheAutry Museum of the American West is significant to California andMulticultural U.S. History because it gives me a lot of information aboutthings that I did not really know. This museum tells the history that happenedin the world that most people do not acknowledge or talk about. Most people nowjust talk a lot about the present and what is going on now. We read about someof this history in textbooks from high school or junior high, but after that wedo not really talk about it or hear anyone mention anything about. No one thatI have known just has a conversation and just randomly brings up anything fromthese time periods. When culture is talked about today, most people do not talkabout the Chicano/a culture.

People see them and stereotype them because of whothey are the color of their skin. There are important people from history thatare taught in high school and some people do remember. History is so importantbecause in the future history might repeat itself.

I have heard before thathistory has a way of repeating itself and if we do not remember what happenedback then, then we will not be prepared for what might happen in the future. TheAutry Museum helps bring together all the stories from all the people of theAmerican West, so that we can connect the past with the present to inspireourselves for the future.       


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