MS.548 Finding Aid to the Gamut Club Collection

Part of the Series: Archives Ready and Set

In continuation of the Diamonds in the Rough blog series, “Archives Ready and Set” will highlight the online finding aids and catalog records of the archive collections processed with a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This award made it possible for the Libraries and Archives of the Autry to process over 2,000 linear feet of archival material from 2010 to 2012. Thanks to the NHPRC, Project Archivist Holly Larson, and the rest of the NHPRC Project Team, these collection “gems,” once in the rough, are now “polished” and set to be discovered.

Photograph of Professor Adolph Willhartitz, a founder of the Gamut Club, early 1900s. Braun Research Library Collection, Autry National Center; P.33439

Photograph of Professor Adolph Willhartitz, a founder of the Gamut Club, early 1900s. Braun Research Library Collection, Autry National Center; P.33439

Manuscript Number: MS.548

Historical Note

The Gamut Club was founded in 1904 by L. E. Behymer and a group of Los Angeles musicians. The membership of this musical society was exclusively male, and its objective, as described by their librarian Ben F. Field in 1918, was “brotherhood, assistance to the musical fraternity, and the uplifting of the art.” Shortly afterward, the club broadened the scope of its activities by including other types of artists such as writers, painters, sculptors, filmmakers, and actors. According to the 1912 Gamut Club yearbook, the club continued to expand its society by adding “business and professional men of artistic tastes and talents.” Located on 1044 South Hope Street in Los Angeles, the Gamut Club building was built to meet the needs of their artistic clientele. Their building included a 668-​seat theatre, music, and banquet room, and artists’ studios. Southwest Museum founder Charles Fletcher Lummis was a member of the Gamut Club, and in 1924 the club held a fiesta in his honor. The club described Lummis as “our most distinguished member.”

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection consists of ephemera, institutional records, and Gamut Club guest registers. Much of the collection is related to Charles Clifton Draa, who served on the Gamut Club’s reception committee and executive board from 1917 to 1932. Some of the materials also belonged to Lummis. There is also one folder of personal papers belonging to Draa that is unrelated to Gamut Club activities.

Materials throughout this collection include images and names of the Club’s building, members, and guest musicians (both male and female).

The personal papers of Draa relate to his involvement with the Al Malaikah Temple and the Imperial Council, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, 1925–1947. They include a photograph of Draa and members of the Imperial Council, membership documents, a play manuscript, and correspondence.

Collection Size: 25 folders, 4 guest registers

Names and Subjects

Lummis, Charles Fletcher, 1859–1928.

Draa, Charles Clifton.

Gamut Club (Los Angeles, Calif.)

Clubs–California–Los Angeles.

Music–Societies, etc.

Los Angeles (Calif.)–History.

Genres and Forms of Material




Business records.


Related Autry National Center Collections

MS.1 Charles Fletcher Lummis Manuscript Collection, Braun Research Library, Autry National Center.

MS. 7 Frederick Webb Hodge Manuscript Collection, Braun Research Library, Autry National Center.

Gamut Club photographs, OP.658 and OP. 661, Braun Research Library Photographic Archives.

Other Related Material

The Huntington Library’s Collection of Panoramic Photographs, 1851–1947 (ID# photPAN), The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, CA.

Catalog record

Finding aid

This article is filed under:


About the author

Marva Felchlin is the Director of the Libraries and Archives. She is responsible for the day-to-day operations and oversees long-term planning for collection development, research services, outreach, funding, and moving to the new Autry Resource Center.