Southwest Museum

Explore the culture and the history of Mt. Washington in Los Angeles. Mt. Washington is a historic neighborhood located to the west of South Pasadena and north of Cypress Park. It’s known as the home of the Self-Realization Fellowship, Heritage Square Museum, Eldred Street, and the Lummis House. All of these are lovely destinations, but museum lovers can’t afford to miss visiting the Southwest Museum in Mt. Washington.

SW 1

Photo Credit: https://theautry.org/sites/default/files/styles/original/public/visit/southwest-museum-exterior-46.jpg?itok=wO6YRXbV

The Southwest Museum of the American Indian Collection is the first museum of Los Angeles and is located at 234 Museum Drive, Los Angeles, 90065. It specializes in exhibiting and preserving artifact­s and artwork from native American and Latino communities. It was founded in 1907 by the Southwest Society of the Archaeological Institute of America and journalist Charles Fletcher Lummis. Charles Lummis was the same Lummis of the Lummis House built in 1897. He was known for his photography of American landscapes and portraits of Native American Indians. Lummis was an outspoken activist for Native American rights and throughout his life he collected Native American artwork. The museum building was erected in 1912. Today, the museum is the Southwest Museum Mt. Washington Campus, and in 2003, the museum merged with the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum of the American West.

Museum hours are between 10 am and 5 pm on Saturdays, and admission and parking are  free.Visitors may inquire about tours, programming, special events, and lectures. Exhibits and features at the Southwest Museum include:

-Ethnobotanical Community Garden

-Four Centuries of Pueblo Pottery (featuring over one hundred pieces going as far back as the sixteenth-century)

-American Indians of the Great Plains

-Tunnel Entrance (contemporary artwork is on exhibit in the pedestrian tunnel entrance that is accessible from Museum Drive)

-Kaufman Collection

-Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale

-California Impressionism: The Gardena High School Collection

-Western Frontiers: Stories of Fact and Fiction

-Archive and Braun Research Library

SW 2

Photo Credit: Friends of the Southwest Museum – http://www.savesouthwestmuseum.com/?page_id=73

Currently, the collections at the Southwest Museum are being moved to the Resources Center of the Autry, a new building in Burbank, California. The Autry is also dedicated to the preservation of the Southwest Museum building and work on that project is underway.

As of January, 2015, the Southwest Museum was recognized as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It is also recognized on the National Register of Historic Places. The Friends of the Southwest Museum is an advocacy group that formed in 2003 when the merger between the Autry and the Southwest Museum began. The goal of the Friends of the Southwest Museum is to see the Southwest Museum continue to show exhibitions and provide education and culture to schools and communities in northeastern Los Angeles.

SW 3

Photo Credit: Friends of the Southwest Museum – http://www.savesouthwestmuseum.com/?page_id=73

Other historic sites to visit in Los Angeles include:

-Historic Route US 66

-Casa de Adobe (Missions)

-Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

-Griffith Observatory

-Los Angeles County Museum of Art

-Getty Center

-La Brea Tar Pits

Real Estate Unlimited is a real estate agency serving the city of Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. Feel free to view and browse our listings in the neighborhoods of Mt. Washington, Echo Park, Silver Lake, Eagle Rock, Highland Park, and more.

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