Resources Center Trip Showcases Southwest Museum Collection

March 9, 2016 by Chris Morris

Danny Forrest, the Autry's Director of Capital Projects, and LeLena Lewark, the Autry's Senior Director of Collections and Conservation, provided members of the Steering Committee with an informative behind-the-scenes tour of the Autry's Resources Center on March 2nd. Steering Committee members Marshall McKay, Linda Dishman, Frank Parrello, and Christy McAvoy were in attendance, along with Stacy Lieberman of the Autry and me.

I had a chance to tour the Resources Center at about this same time last year and was amazed to see how much progress has been made on the facility since then. We viewed many of the rooms and the storage systems that have been designed to address the unique requirements of specific objects and collections, such as saddles, historic firearms, textiles, and archaeological objects.

The ceremonial gardens are still under construction, but when completed they will provide a separate and private space for tribal members to engage with the collection. Research rooms immediately adjacent to the large, main entry space will provide both public and private space for scholars, tribal members, the public, and researchers to learn from the collections and archives. And the new storage areas for the historic Southwest Museum of the American Indian collection have been completed. We were able to see the carefully-documented and conserved collection of hundreds of thousands of objects in the new spaces, waiting to be unpack by the conservation staff.

The Autry has offered to host a public tour of the Resource Center on Sunday, March 13th, for the Eagle Rock Historical Society and residents of Highland Park, Mount Washington, and other Northeast LA neighborhoods. If you are interested in participating in that tour, please contact the community representative members of the Steering Committee, Frank Parrello and Carol Teutsch, who are coordinating the tour with the Autry.

Behind-the-Scenes Tours for Steering Committee and Community Members

photo by: NTHP Photo

Marshall McKay, Linda Dishman, Christy McAvoy, and Frank Parrello (l-r) gather in the main entry area for an introduction from Stacy Lieberman and the Autry staff.

Behind-the-Scenes Tours for Steering Committee and Community Members

photo by: NTHP Photo

A wall of wood and glass doors allows visitors to see the archaeology collection as soon as they walk in.

Behind-the-Scenes Tours for Steering Committee and Community Members

photo by: NTHP Photo

LeLena Lewark of the Autry explains the new compact storage system for the archaeology collection.

Behind-the-Scenes Tours for Steering Committee and Community Members

photo by: NTHP Photo

The Autry team came up with a new system for storing the saddle collection.

Behind-the-Scenes Tours for Steering Committee and Community Members

photo by: NTHP Photo

LeLena demonstrates the sliding racks that will provide safe and easy access to the extensive textile collection.

Behind-the-Scenes Tours for Steering Committee and Community Members

photo by: NTHP Photo

Touring the large new second-story space designed for the historic SWM collection, which is ready to be unpacked.

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