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April 27, 2013 | By Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times
Recruiting a new leader for a big museum can take months - sometimes more than a year - involving search committees, consultants and rounds of interviews and negotiations. In the case of the Autry National Center of the American West, finding its fourth chief executive since opening 25 years ago was a much simpler affair. The biggest challenge was for board chair Marshall McKay, tired from a 12-hour day of meetings, to muster the energy to rush through a hotel corridor in Portland, Ore., catch up with the man he'd pegged as the Autry's next leader, and make him a proposal from out of the blue.
October 23, 2012 | Chris Erskine
Some of the other notable sports statues around Southern California: STAPLES CENTER: Jerry West Magic Johnson Wayne Gretzky Chick Hearn Oscar De La Hoya ANGEL STADIUM: Gene Autry Michelle Carew USC: John McKay John Wayne Ricky Bell Tommy Trojan Traveler UCLA: Jackie Robinson SANTA ANITA: Seabiscuit John Henry Zenyatta Bill Shoemaker Laffit Pincay Jr. ...
June 25, 2012 | By Daniel Siegal, Los Angeles Times
Motorists on the 2 Freeway for the last couple of months have noticed a shadowy figure or two gazing into the distance from the hills above. Cardboard cutouts of Clint Eastwood, John Wayne and Gene Autry, bearing labels that read "Glendale Public Art Project 2012," have been a mystery — something their creator says is intentional. Justin Stadel, the Glassell Park resident and artist behind the cowboy cutouts, said he created the works so viewers could draw a spiritual feeling, a sense of freedom, from L.A.'s varied landscape.
June 22, 2012 | By Jamie Wetherbe
Cherry Jones is teaming with the recent Tony-winning director John Tiffany ("Once") to play the iconic character of Amanda Wingfield in Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie. " The drama, which first went to the Great White Way in 1945, will run Feb. 2 to March 13, 2013, at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass. Jones is a founding member of ART and has appeared in multiple performances during the last three decades, most recently in 2002's "Lysistrata. " Jones has received lead actress Tonys for "The Heiress" (1995)
June 21, 2012 | By David Ng
Daniel Finley, the president and chief executive of the Autry National Museum, has abruptly stepped down from the institution after just two years on the job. The Autry said Thursday that it had named W. Richard West Jr. as its new president and CEO. West's appointment will take effect in the fall of 2012, with an exact date to be announced later, according to a spokeswoman for the Autry.   Finley took the top position at the Autry in 2010, coming from the Milwaukee Public Museum. He has been succeeded on an interim basis by Luke Swetland, the museum's head of exhibitions and operations, according to the Autry spokeswoman.
June 6, 2012 | By Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times
One of Los Angeles' longest-running and most adversarial cultural disputes - over the future of the Southwest Museum in Mount Washington, and its prized collection of Native American artifacts - has a chance of shifting to a less contentious footing. Supporters of the Southwest Museum have been trying for years to force its stepparent, the Autry National Center of the American West, to revive the castle-like, 98-year-old site as a vibrant showcase for the collection. Meanwhile, they have tried to block the Autry from shifting Native American exhibits to the Autry Museum in Griffith Park.
May 17, 2012 | By Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times
Howard Terpning paints how the West was lived and lost more than 120 years ago. His subject is 19th century Native Americans, although he is not their descendant. Some of his canvases aim to capture the courage, dignity and desperation of the fight to keep their land. Many are carefully detailed depictions of the ways of life they fought to save. "Tribute to the Plains People," now at the Autry National Center of the American West in Griffith Park, is the biggest solo show of Terpning's career - a retrospective that covers 35 years and documents his standing as the acknowledged leader of a popular but not universally admired movement in which paintings become time machines into the Old West.
May 9, 2012 | By Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times
John Gray, who rode off into retirement about 16 months ago after 11 years as president of the Autry National Center of the American West, is making an unexpected return astride one of the world's most-visited cultural institutions: He's been named director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History inWashington, D.C. "His passion for American history and scholarship is obvious, and it's what will make him a great leader...
March 9, 2012 | Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times
As a set illustrator for Hollywood studios, Robert Temple Ayres created his most famous work at Paramount in 1959. Officially called "Map to Illustrate the Ponderosa in Nevada," it was conjured up just so it could burst into flames on television screens during the opening of the long-running show "Bonanza. " While the memorable "Bonanza" theme music played, Ayres' map appeared, then dissolved in flames , revealing the Ponderosa ranch's inhabitants on horseback — the Cartwright clan played by Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker and Pernell Roberts.
January 16, 2012 | By Ari Bloomekatz, Los Angeles Times
When James Cooper was a teenager in segregated Louisiana, he worked at a factory for $2 a day and didn't see a bright future. So he entered the military, attracted by such benefits as free lodging and meals, and eventually joined the ranks of one of the first African American regiments in the U.S. Army, becoming what was known as a Buffalo Soldier. "Why did I join the Army? Survival. At 17, I looked at the Army and it was better than what I had," Cooper, now 89, told a small audience Sunday at the Autry National Center of the American West, in one of many events commemorating the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. A program in Culver City featured a panel discussion, poetry, choral and jazz music and a staged reading of a play called "The Dreamers" featuring Margaret Avery, an actress best known for her role in "The Color Purple.
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