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Native American Museum Los Angeles

Onhsagw: De Cultural Center Salamanca Ny

Native American Heritage Month | Indigenous L.A.: Cultural Revitalization

This Native American cultural center features interactive exhibits, programs, and collections that allow patrons to explore the daily life and struggles of Native American peoples from thousands of years ago to today, through changing exhibits and permanent art collections, featuring artwork in traditional mediums, such as beadwork, antler carvings, and cornhusk pieces. They also host an annual traditional dance competition as part of their Winter Social Pow Wow.

Recognizing Native American Culture And Heritage

The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County are proud to join the nationwide celebration of Native American Heritage Month in November. During this month, and throughout the year, we will share stories recognizing the thriving and diverse Native American community calling Los Angeles home.

Join the conversation on social media by sharing your own stories about Native American culture by using #NHMLA and #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth.

Indigenous L.A.

The Indigenous community in L.A. is here now and will be here always. Join us in conversation with members on their thriving and vibrant community, how they value cross-cultural connections and the ways in which they’re striving to revitalize their culture. The videos below connect to our Becoming Los Angeles exhibition, which explores how people, place, and possibility helped create Los Angeles.

Indigenous L.A.: Thriving and Vibrant
Indigenous L.A.: Cross-Cultural Connections

Discovery Cube Orange County

Science Museum

The Discovery Cube Orange County Science Museum in Santa Ana is hard to miss. Its ten-story solar array cube that stands over Interstate 5 has become something of a landmark. With more than 100 hands-on science exhibits it’s a great museum to visit with the whole family. The large museum is divided into several themed areas: Science of Hockey, Dino Quest, Rocket Lab, Air & Space, Eco-Challenge, Dynamic Earth, Quake Zone, and the Showcase Gallery which houses traveling exhibits.


Here are some of the “must see” items at Discovery Cube Orange County.

  • Dino Quest
  • 2500 N Main St, Santa Ana, CA 92705
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    Coolest Museums In Los Angeles To Check Out

    Looking for the best and coolest museums in Los Angeles? We got you. One of the best things about large and diverse cities, like Los Angeles, is the fantastic and wide-ranging selection of museums. From art and music, to dinosaurs and science, and film and cars, Los Angeles museums cover the gamut.

    Whether you are visiting the city, looking for a date idea, or need a way to spend an afternoon with the family, there is a fun museum in LA for everyone to enjoy! Keep reading to learn about the coolest museums in Los Angeles.

    Disclaimer: This guide to the best museums in Los Angeles includes affiliate links.

    Youre Retiring As The Pandemic Begins To Lift What Have You Missed About Museums During This Time

    An Artist Addresses the Field Museums Problematic Native American Hall ...

    Its the people connection with staff and with audiences that I have really missed. Its ironic in some ways the pandemic expanded the footprint of the museum. We had to switch so quickly to programming that was online, virtual programming. But there is an element of museum work that is very much social. Ive missed that.

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    Future Plans For The Southwest Museum

    The Autry doesnt really know what its going to do with the Southwest Museum, but its pretty clear that the Mt. Washington Campus wont be used to display the Lummis collection , which is a shame.

    But they also cant tear the building down on August 29, 1984, the site was placed on the list of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments . Its also been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

    In 2019, the Autry, working with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, put out a Request for Interest, a call for community-focused ideas about what might be done with the site. There hasnt been much ion the way of progress yet, but you can see the latest developments at National Trusts Southwest Museum site.

    In the meantime, the Southwest Museum is open on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is free.

    In An American Indian Quarterly Interview You Talked Of The Historic Love/hate Relationship Between Museums And Native Communities You Said Of Museums: We Value Them In A Way Because They Have Our Stuff And We Hate Them Because They Have Our Stuff How Have You Worked To Shift That Relationship

    This is precisely my point. I remember the first time I visited the collection that became the foundation of the collection of the NMAI, the Heye Foundation collection. I was a kid. My father took us to see in New York. We went to the collections that held Plains materials and there was a heavy dose of Cheyenne material. Id never seen anything like it. The question I asked my dad was, What is this all doing here?

    Native people were not welcome in museums. My father was an artist who knew someone, so we got into see it. But seeing Native material in a museum is inherently a false experience. We never put things on walls. Every object you see is associated with life and living in a Native community. You can never make a genuine gallery space in that way.

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    Tomasewalkalko: Los Angeles Center For The Indigenous Peoples Of The Americas

    Los Angeles Center for the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas

    A community-based response to the Autry Museums Request for Interest regarding the future of the Southwest Museum of the American Indian proposing the creation of the Los Angeles Center for the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas .

    Our proposal is a community response to the initiative of the Autry Museum of the American West for the development of the Southwest Museum and Adobe House campuses commonly referred to as a Request For Interest. Recognizing the key role played by this institution and its mythology in the colonization of the indigenous territories of what is now called Los Angeles, California, and the Americas, we propose that together with you, an international center on the rights of indigenous peoples be created that includes education, linguistics, historical archives, arts and protocols of exchange and diplomacy among our peoples and our generations. As a root of this vision, we consider and propose that the land under the buildings be returned to the native tribes of that place and that the programming and space necessary to advance the self-determination and autonomy of their future generations is included.

    TOMASEWALKALKO will include Anahuacalmecac – a k-12 indigenous freedom school, an indigenous peoples ceremonial and community center, a living museum, and a sustainable self-determination ecological botanical living gardens.


    Tovaangar – Time Immemorial to Time in Perpetuity

    The First Museum In Los Angeles

    Native American Heritage Month | Indigenous L.A.: Cross-Cultural Connections

    In a city full of museums, the Southwest Museum of the American Indian is notable as the first museum in Los Angeles. It was founded by journalist, preservationist, and self-appointed savior of native peoples Charles Fletcher Lummis in 1907. Reports indicate it was first located in Downtown Los Angeles and was moved to its current Mount Washington home when construction of the museum building was completed in 1914.

    This new location, which looked down on Lummiss home, El Alisal, offered easy access from both the Yellow Car line and automobiles and contained plenty of space to house Lummiss impressive collection of Native American artifacts.

    The building was designed by architect Sumner P. Hunt, who designed many buildings in Los Angeles in his day with his sometime-partner Silas Reese Burns .

    Subsequent additions to the museum included the Caroline Boeing Poole Wing of Basketry , established to house an extensive exhibit of Native American baskets, and the Braun Research Library , offering access to a significant number of books, maps, and recordings pertaining to the American Southwest.

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    Historic Southwest Museum Mt Washington Campus And Its Collection

    The Southwest Museum of the American Indian is a museum, library, and archive located in the Mt. Washington neighborhood of Los Angeles, California , above the north-western bank of the Arroyo Seco canyon and stream. The museum is owned by the Autry Museum of the American West . Its collections deal mainly with Native Americans . It also has an extensive collection of pre- Hispanic , Spanish colonial , Latino , and Western American art and artifacts . Major collections had included American Indians of the Great Plains , American Indians of California , and American Indians of the Northwest Coast . Most of those materials were moved off-site, but the Southwest Museum has maintained an ongoing public exhibition on Pueblo pottery , open free of charge. The Metro L Line stops down the hill from the museum at the Southwest Museum station . About a block from the L Line stop is an entrance on Museum Drive that opens to a long tunnel formerly filled with dioramas, since removed by the Autry Museum and placed in storage. At the end of the tunnel is an elevator to the museum’s lower lobby.

    About The Historic Southwest Museum Mt Washington Campus

    The historic Southwest Museum Mt. Washington Campus was founded as the Southwest Museum of the American Indian in 1907 by Charles F. Lummis and the Southwest Society , the western branch of the Archaeological Institute of America. The Southwest Museum building was constructed between 1912 and 1914. Lummis worked with architects Sumner P. Hunt and Silas R. Burns to design the main museum building and the Caracol and Torrance towers. Lummis wanted the building to reflect Spanish culture and the Alhambra in Spain. The tunnel and elevator were added in 19191920 to provide easier access to the museum. In 1977 the Braun Research Library was constructed to house the ever-growing research collection, which had outgrown its space in the Torrance Tower.

    For much of the 20th century, the museum welcomed visitors from around the world and remained an important part of the citys cultural landscape. However, many years of financial challenges and low attendance led the Southwest Museum to merge with the Autry Museum in 2003. Following the merger, the Autry embarked on a comprehensive conservation program to save, preserve, and protect the important collections and identify a long-term, sustainable future for the historic site. The Southwest Museum building is on the National Register of Historical Places and the California Register of Historic Places. The campus is listed as a City of Los Angeles Historical Cultural Monument.

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    Amazing Los Angeles Museums To Check Out


    5905 Wilshire Blvd

    The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, known as LACMA, is nestled on a section of Wilshire Boulevard referred to as Museum Row on the Miracle Mile.

    This part of Wilshire is home to a few of the best things to do in Los Angeles, the Petersen Auto Museum and the La Brea Tar Pits, in addition to LACMA, which is why its referred to as Museum Row.

    LACMA is a famous museum in Los Angeles where over 147,000 items are housed, covering a multitude of different types and kinds of art. You may be familiar with their Urban Light outdoor sculpture, which is a series of antique street lamps that has become a popular photo op. They pride themselves on displaying art from diverse cultural backgrounds, and highlighting various historical time periods.

    There are an array of ongoing and rotating exhibitions to tour, which makes it easy to spend an entire afternoon at this Los Angeles museum. You will need to purchase advance tickets by going online or by calling the LACMA ticket office.

    Psstif you visit the second Tuesday of the month your LACMA admission is free!

    The Broad

    Editorial credit: Hayk_Shalunts / Shutterstock

    221 S Grand Ave

    You know the expression, you cant judge a book by its cover? With The Broad, you can! The modern design of the building matches the museums impressive collection of postwar and contemporary art. Their permanent collection showcases almost 2,000 pieces from renowned artists, including Takashi Murakami, Andy Warhol, and Barbara Kruger.

    Southwest Museum Of The American Indian

    Native American Museums and Landmarks in Los Angeles
    Historic Southwest Museum Mt. Washington Campus

    Museum building as seen from Sycamore Grove Park
    Former name Southwest Museum of the American Indian

    Major collections had included American Indians of the Great Plains, American Indians of California, and American Indians of the Northwest Coast. Most of those materials were moved off-site, but the Southwest Museum has maintained an ongoing public exhibition on Pueblo pottery, open free of charge.

    The Metro L Line stops down the hill from the museum at the Southwest Museum station. About a block from the L Line stop is an entrance on Museum Drive that opens to a long tunnel formerly filled with dioramas, since removed by the Autry Museum and placed in storage. At the end of the tunnel is an elevator to the museum’s lower lobby.

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    Cultural And Ethnic Museums In Los Angeles

    Los Angeles is one of the most diverse places on the planet. The city’s character has been formed by the many ethnic and cultural groups that have called the city home since it’s inception. Below is an alphabetical list of major museums and cultural centers that showcase these cultures and their contributions.

    The Art Galleries at the American Jewish University in Belair showcase the work of Jewish artists and other influential artists.

    The California African American Museum at Exposition Park exhibits and interprets the history, art, and culture of African Americans with a focus on California and the western United States.

    The Chinese American Museum is located in the oldest building in LA’s “Old Chinatown,” which is now part of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Site. The museum is dedicated to the Chinese American experience and history in Southern California.

    What Happened To The Indigenous Human Remains That Were Displayed At The Southwest Museum

    Behold the fortress-like Southwest Museum atop Mount Washington. Prior to the Autry Museum absorbing its collection of Native American Indian art there was the white tarp covering a burial display of ancestral remains inside the Southwest Museums auditorium after a sit-in protest.

    The Autry Museum of the American West inherited a 238,000-material collection from the Southwest Museum that includes artwork, religious artifacts, and human remains.

    Thats right, the Autry received human cranial, long bone and other remains of indigenous peoples, as confirmed by L.A. Taco with Autry Director W. Richard West. Many of the remains are those of from indigenous tribes and bands that occupied the region before it was called Los Angeles or California.

    The entire collection was moved in 2013 from Mount Washington to a climate-controlled facility in Burbank.

    They are there in the collection that we now have, said West. We brought in representatives from local tribal communities to help with the move of the human remains. They were mostly Tongva people because we acknowledge were in their territory.

    Autry Executive Vice President Maren Dougherty said, I can tell you that the Autry, which merged with the Southwest Museum in 2003, has not, does not, and will not ever display human remains.

    Native American protesters and local Latino residents tried to have the displays removed, including religious artifacts and a braided hair from a Cheyenne scalp.

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    What Are You Proudest Of From Your Tenure

    What defines the Autry in the most important way is something that most people would not identify with us and thats Native Voices, the theater program. It speaks right at you. It articulates a Native presence, not just as some ethnographic presence. With objects, you have more difficulty doing that. Its more undeniable if you walk into a play that is a more contemporary experience.

    Native Voices existed before I got there. When I was director at the NMAI, I tried to get it to the NMAI and I talked to founders Randy Reinholz and Jean Bruce Scott, and they were like, We think we will stay put. The story is that I followed them out here since they refused to follow me!

    The other thing is the resources center. That is so important because it aligns so closely with a collaborative relationship with the Native community here in California. And that is where we upset the apple cart perhaps most profoundly in our approach to presentation. It took what is normally considered off limits to most of the public this place that scholars go to study objects and were making it an integral programmatic component.

    Craft And Folk Art Museum

    Japanese American National Museum – Los Angeles, CA – Travel Thru History

    Specialty Museum

    The Craft and Folk Art Museum opened its doors on Los Angeles historic Miracle Mile in 1965. The rotating exhibitions focus on contemporary art made from craft media and processes. Craft Contemporary believes a museum isn’t only for seeing art but for creating art too! The museum offers many hands-on workshops led by professional artists and instructors in addition to classes, art talks, readings, and participatory projects for all ages.


    Here are some of the “must see” items at Craft and Folk Art Museum.

    • Finding the Center: Works by Echiko Ohira
    • Cynthia Minet: Jacked
  • 5814 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
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    California African American Museum

    Art Museum

    Located in Los Angeles’s Exposition Park, the California African American Museum is much more than just a museum. The space includes three exhibition galleries, a theater gallery, a large sculpture court, a conference center/special events room, an archive and research library with 20,000+ books and other reference materials available. The museum’s permanent collection includes over 4,000 paintings, photographs, sculptures, and artifacts focused on representing the diverse contributions of African Americans in the United States.


    Here are some of the “must see” items at California African American Museum.

    • Bronze bust of civil rights activist Dr. Mary Mcleod Bethune by artist Richmond Barthé
    • Walter Burrell Collection of audio recordings of Burrells interviews with African American celebrities
    • The oral histories of Celes King, a local civil rights activist and former Tuskegee airman
  • 600 State Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90037
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