The United States Postal Service honors the American Indian Dance Theater and photographer Theo Westenberger.
Are you looking for information about historic Route 66? Wondering where you can see advertising for motels along the road or find the story of a now closed attraction? Visit the recently launched National Route 66 Archives and Research Collaboration (Route 66 ARC) website and discover collections in your local area or across the United States. Serving as … Continue reading “Get Your Kicks” on the New Route 66 Archives and Research Website!
On Thursday, March 26, musician and composer Tom Peters will perform a new soundtrack for The Iron Horse (1924) at the Autry’s Wells Fargo Theater. Trained as a solo double bassist, Peters specializes in experimental classical music and ambient electronic music. He has performed with Southwest Chamber Music since 1998 and the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra since … Continue reading Musician and GRAMMY® Nominated Composer Tom Peters to Perform at the Autry
For those who still watch television on a traditional television screen, access to an entire TV schedule is often just a quick press of a button away today. In mid-to late-twentieth century America, planning out your TV viewing depended on the printed pages of a television guide.
Select items from the Autry’s museum, archive, and library collections are now being featured online. Autry staff has culled together images of love, heartache, friendship, and song in honor of St. Valentine’s Day. A postcard of donkey sweethearts, vintage photographs of blissful weddings, letters from broken hearts and more love-related items can be perused at your leisure … Continue reading Don’t go breaking my heart… you donkey
Three months ago, the Autry’s Institute for the Study of the American West initiated a new experiment in activating specific collections of the Libraries and Archives of the Autry and engaging diverse scholars and artists in the research of those collections. We called it an Undisciplined Research Project, reflecting our desire that participants find a way to step out of the comfort of their established disciplines, and pointing to the possibly unpredictable outcomes of their investigations and discourse. In introducing both the project and this blog series in my initial post on September 23, I said I would be monitoring the process as well as the outcomes to assess levels of success and areas for improvement. So, what, in fact, was learned?
The selective amnesia that defines the United States’ relationship with Indigenous peoples is starkly apparent when non-Indians are introduced to the topic of Indian boarding schools. Now that this history is more accessible on film, in newly digitized photographic resources, and in recorded oral histories such as the Cante Sica Boarding School Stories archive at the Autry National Center, the remaining question is, “What comes next?” Is reconciliation possible?
As the Autry Institute’s Chair of Western Women’s History, I have become accustomed to the Autry’s collaborative and innovative approach to conversations about the history, art, and cultures of the place we know as the American West. Autry programs and publications have a way of bringing together a wide array of people—curators, scholars, conservators, designers, executives, staff, trustees, docents, members of the public, researchers, writers, and creative artists from across the Los Angeles area and the nation. So on the evening of the recent Undisciplined Conversation about the collection of oral histories of survivors’ experiences at Indian boarding schools, it was not surprising, but still refreshing, to hear varied takes on the rich and sometimes disturbing, sometimes heart-opening set of stories in the Cante Sica Boarding School Stories archive.
What is memory? In examining one’s own life, what events are recalled in detail? Who and what are forgotten? These are some of the questions that intrigued me as I explored the twenty-some- odd hours of interviews in The Cante Sica Boarding School Stories archive at the Autry National Center of the American West.
When I first approached the Undisciplined Research Project, I set out to study the relationship between Indian boarding schools and Native artistic traditions. I hoped to find that Native American students continued to practice their traditional arts at the boarding schools. I was surprised, however, that this was often not the case.