The history of the Western genre is explored in The Imagination Gallery. Putting the Western into a larger historical context, the gallery shows how the genre evolved in response to social and cultural changes taking place in America during the twentieth century. Highlights from the film collection range from the camera director Cecil B. DeMille used on the set of The Squaw Man (1914) to an original Norman Rockwell painting of Gary Cooper used to advertise Along Came Jones (1945). The television collection includes artifacts ranging from Clayton Moore’s costume from The Lone Ranger (1949-61) to the original handwritten pilot for Bonanza (1959-73). Almost every iconic cowboy is represented in the gallery, including, but not limited to, William S. Hart, Bill Pickett, Tom Mix, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Duncan Renaldo, James Arness, John Wayne, and Clint Eastwood. Cowgirls, such as Patsy Montana, Betty Hutton, and Katharine Hepburn, are also represented. Although its popularity has waxed and waned over the years, the vitality and continuing influence of the Western genre is evident in the Imagination Gallery.
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Exhibitions and events


Permanent exhibition

The Conquest gallery picks up the story of the American West after the Civil War. The flood of Americans into the West overwhelmed native people and created new and deadly conflicts. The gallery...


Permanent exhibition

The Opportunity gallery explores the turbulent period between 1820 and 1860 when thousands of migrants moved to the West in search of a better life. Learn about the experiences of the explorers,...


Permanent exhibition

The Autry announces the reconfiguration of part of its Romance Gallery to prominently feature Western art from the early twentieth century. Focused on the unique, regional landscapes of the desert...

Greg Martin Colt Gallery

Permanent exhibition

On July 23, 2011, the Autry unveiled a new exhibition in the Greg Martin Colt Gallery that explores the history of Samuel Colt’s revolutionary revolver in the American West. The exhibition looks at...


Permanent exhibition

The Community Gallery interprets the West through the lens of the racial, ethnic and religious communities important to Western development between 1885 and 1895. Using 1890 census data, the gallery...

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