With the relatively unheralded news last month that the Autry National Center of the American West was opening up the Southwest Museum to the public for the first time in years to showcase an exhibition of Native American pottery, it was only a matter of time before my wife Susan and I paid a long-overdue inaugural visit to the treasure that is the oldest established museum in all of Los Angeles.
Inside the museum’s Sprague Auditorium was an incredible collection of clay vessels, some dating back more than 400 years — trouble was that was pretty much it. Beyond access to the down-on-its-roots garden, and a small display situated basically beneath the main staircase, our visit to the landmark establishment was way too brief because there was nothing else to see. Still, I’m glad we made the trip for the same reason you should: to show the folks at the Autry that the Southwest Museum and its unparalleled collection of Native American artifacts should be made more accessible, not less.
With time on our hands and some calories to burn in preparation for a visit to Oinkster in Eagle Rock, Susan and I ventured across the Arroyo Seco to the nearby Audubon Center in Ernest Debs Park — another first time visit. From there we ventured up trails to the serene and scenic pond atop the park, where even with Saturday’s unsettled weather conditions limiting the clarity we marveled at the extraordinary views afforded us of downtown and beyond.
If you’re like me and have never been to either place, both make for a great Saturday daytrip (Oinkster optional though also highly recommended). Pics from ours are viewable here on Flickr, and information about the exhibit is below:
Exhibit: Four Centuries of Pueblo Pottery
Where: Southwest Museum of the American Indian, 234 Museum Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90065
When: Saturdays only, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.