Jennifer Autry. The name was changed because of they

Jennifer
Brownlee

Professor Meraz

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CH S 245

12 December 2017

Final Project

I
visited the Autry Museum of the American West in Griffith Park. The Autry
Museum was originally named the Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage from the
founder Gene Autry. The name was changed because of they were on the verge of
financial bankruptcy and some of the buildings and the collection were in need
of significant care and investment. Thus the Southwest Museum of the American
Indian merged with the Autry Museum of Western Heritage and creating an almost
new organization was formed, which is now knows as the Autry Museum of American
West. The Autry Museum discovers the art, history, and cultures of the American
West. It is filled with artifacts, historic firearms, Native American art, and
so much more. I have never been to the Autry Museum of the American West before
and walking in was really cool. My first impressions walking into the museum
was wow. I did not expect the museum to look how it did. Walking in there was
just a huge ceiling and pictures all around. I was very surprised walking in
and almost if not everything caught my eye. Some of the exhibits include: LA
RAZA, Harry Gamboa Jr.: Chicano Male Unbonded, Play!, California Continued, Art
of 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 ” La
Raza Cosmica.” The literal translation is the race and the term is more often
used to express the concept of the people. La Raza was used during the Civil
Rights era as a celebration of their mixed background. Between the years
1967-1977 the Chicano/a newspaper turned magazine La Raza was witness to and
participant in the struggle for social justice as it unraveled across Los
Angeles and into the world. Photographs were taken of the movement. These
pictures are shows throughout the exhibit. The photographs are taken to testify
to the unique concerns of the Chicano/a movement, but also to transform and
tell of the historical context of the newspaper. As well many of the
photographs taken were not published, but they are still mentioned and
appreciated today and the photographs and activism in the ongoing struggle for
human rights across the globe. The photographers for La Raza did not get paid
for their work and risked their own personal safety and arrest to create a
visual record of the Chicano/a movement. The children played a key role within
La Raza because they witness or experienced racism directly, and many were
active protestors and demonstrations. I found this exhibit interesting because
I have heard of La Raza but I was not very sure what it was all about, so
seeing everything that went on was interesting. I enjoyed walking through this
exhibit and seeing and reading all the aspects made me want to keep learning
about it and trying to understand what the Chicano/a movement was all about.  Another exhibit Harry Gamboa Jr.: Chicano Male
unbounded is an exhibit that is temporarily at the Autry Museum, now through
August 5, 2018. This exhibit is realted to the LA RAZA exhibition. Harry Gamboa
Jr. was a photographer, essayist, and a performance artist. He investigates the
relationship between the stereotypes of Mexican American men and the far more
diverse community of academics, performers, artists, writers, and other
creative thinkers who identify as a Chicano/a in his series. Harry’s interest
was in political activism and artistic intervention and can be traced to the
East Los Angeles Walkouts of 1968. There was not a big exhibit of Harry Gamboa
Jr. His exhibit included a brief description of who he was and some of his
photos. The exhibit Play! caught my eye because it is a whole air filled with
toys and games. Play! is temporarily at the Autry Museum, now through January
7, 2018. This exhibit is able to use the role of toys and games across cultures
and over time to catch people’s eyes. This features dolls, board games, video
games, outdoor activities, a teddy bear, and many more. It gives a good look at
how the West inspired imagination. This exhibit is hands on and the visitors
are encouraged to play with the games and be hands on with all the activities
to see the games of the past and present. Even though I am in college and I am
an adult, I am still a kid at heart. I like going and playing with some certain
kids toys that are fun and go out and do things that make me feel like a kid
again. This exhibit felt like it was like being outside on a playground. There
were so many different activities for the kids. There was a tree made out of many
different things like wheels, a dollhouse, drums, a train, and many more. They
created a giant indoor dollhouse that kids were able to play in the kitchen and
in the dining room or the living room. There were also toys that showed how
they use to be back in history and how they are now. One of the examples that
they gave was the difference of television and toys. They used the example of
Disney, how the look of Mickey Mouse looked from back then to now and the difference
in the toys. They also had a stage for the kids to play and create their own
plays. I liked this exhibit because it was hands on and interactive which is
something that I found fun and interesting. The California Continued is an
ongoing exhibit at the Autry Museum. This exhibit shares the traditions of
ecological knowledge gained through centuries experiences can help present day
people understand and care for California’s environment. This exhibit includes
a garden to show the ecological knowledge of present day environment dilemmas
in the American West. The garden is an ethno botanical garden, which discovers
the traditional and contemporary uses of more than 60 native California plants.
I found this exhibit very relaxing because it was outside quiet. There was a
waterfall and a small river that made it so peaceful. It was such a nice day
outside, having the waterfall sound right behind it all made it very relaxing
and enjoyable. This exhibit is probably one of my favorites because I think
that it is a place that you can escape and just relax and catch up with
yourself with the sound of the waterfall in the background.

The
exhibition Art of the West is an ongoing exhibit and is a dynamic and evolving
world of art from cultural practices and some of the people who shared values
and interests have inspired artists from different cultures. The artists
created powerful works that can speak of their experiences of the West as both
a destination and as a home. The works of art are organized around a few
themes: religion and ritual, land and landscape, and migration and movement.

      The
Autry Museum of the American West is significant to California and
Multicultural U.S. History because it gives me a lot of information about
things that I did not really know. This museum tells the history that happened
in the world that most people do not acknowledge or talk about. Most people now
just talk a lot about the present and what is going on now. We read about some
of this history in textbooks from high school or junior high, but after that we
do not really talk about it or hear anyone mention anything about. No one that
I have known just has a conversation and just randomly brings up anything from
these time periods. When culture is talked about today, most people do not talk
about the Chicano/a culture. People see them and stereotype them because of who
they are the color of their skin. There are important people from history that
are taught in high school and some people do remember. History is so important
because in the future history might repeat itself. I have heard before that
history has a way of repeating itself and if we do not remember what happened
back then, then we will not be prepared for what might happen in the future. The
Autry Museum helps bring together all the stories from all the people of the
American West, so that we can connect the past with the present to inspire
ourselves for the future.