Autry Raises $80 Million; Southwest Museum Still a Money Pit
|Autry Resources Center, Burbank. Photo by Nico Marques|
The Autry Museum of the American West has realized its six-year goal of raising $80 million for improvements at the Griffith Park campus and the collection storage facility in Burbank. Jackie Autry, widow of museum founder/singing cowboy Gene Autry, contributed $30 million.
The 103,000-sf Autry Resources Center, designed by Chu + Gooding Architects, has been in use since 2016. It now houses the Autry (including Southwest Museum) collections in a state-of-the-art building. The troubled Southwest Museum merged with the Autry in 2003.
Still to be determined is the fate of the Southwest Museum building in Highland Park. A 2019 open call for financially qualified parties interested in running the site fell flat. A 2018 estimate put the cost of renovation at about $52 million (the Casa de Abobe, home of Southwest Museum founder Charles Lummis, would run another $6.8 million).
|Garden, Autry Resource Center|
|Saddle storage, Autry Resource Center|
What's so exasperating about the museum this blog is themed to (Ed Ruscha'e classic), is that by requiring so much money in order to accommodate their director's ego, vanity and foolishness, they're putting more pressure on both their own and other cultural institutions in LA.