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Southwest Museum of the American Indian
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Southwest Museum of the American Indian

All photographs taken by Kenneth A. Larson. All rights reserved. © 2004 - 2017.


The Southwest Museum holds one of the nation's most important museum, library, and archive collections related to the American Indian, in addition to extensive holdings of pre-Hispanic, Spanish colonial, Latino, and Western American art and artifacts.

The oldest museum on Los Angels, The Southwest Museum was founded in 1914 through the support of Charles Fletcher Lummis. The Southwest Museum was founded in late 1907 as Los Angeles's first "free public museum of science, history, and art." Charles Fletcher Lummis was aided by members of the Southwest Society, a branch of the Archaeological Institute of America . The museum operated in downtown Los Angeles until 1914, when the present building on Mount Washington opened. The museum was designed by the firm of Sumner Hunt and Silas Burns. Originally the museum included halls of conchology and Asian and European art, along with displays of Southwestern and California archaeological materials, the Munk Library of Arizoniana, and the Lummis Library. In the 1920s the Southwest Museum narrowed its focus to anthropology and its subject matter to the cultural history and prehistory of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. The Southwest Museum building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the California Register due to its unique architectural style, which has remained virtually unchanged since its construction in 1914.

A recent merger with the Autry Museum of Western Heritage has resulted in the Museum of the American West and promises to strengthen the Southwest Museum which has seeking assistance for several years.






Tower. Photo date: 12-18--04.

Tower. Photo date: 12-18--04.

Tower. Photo date: 12-18--04.

Tower. Photo date: 12-18--04.


Tunnel. Photo date: 12-18--04.

Tunnel. Photo date: 12-18--04.
The tunnel connects the lower level of the elevator to the entrance at the bottom of the hill that the museum sits atop. The tunnel is lined with dozens of wonderful dioramas. The new Metro Station is only a few steps from the tunnel entrance.

Diorama. Photo date: 12-18--04.

Diorama. Photo date: 12-18--04.


Tunnel entrance. Photo date: 12-18--04.

Tunnel entrance. Photo date: 12-18--04.


Tunnel. Photo date: 12-18--04.

Sculpture. Photo date: 12-18--04.

Exhibit. Photo date: 12-18--04.

. Photo date: 12-18--04.


The Southwest Museum is currently closed for major restoration. Most of the artifacts are still there as they are restored, documented, and preserved, awaiting their new home at the expanded Autry Museum currently in the planning stage.











Photo Date: .

The Casa de Adobe was built in 1917 as a replica of a Spanish California ranch house of the early nineteenth century. The Southwest Museum assumed responsibility for the Casa in 1925. The Casa is an adobe structure, built according to traditional methods. In traditional Spanish style, the casa is built in as a quadrangle with a central patio and garden. The Casa is considered to be one of Southern California's earliest examples of Mission Revival style of architecture, The Casa depicts daily life in Southern California between 1821 and 1849, the period of Mexican rule.


Casa Adobe as seen from Southwest Museum. Photo date: 12-18-04.

Entrance. Photo date: 12-18-04.

Detail. Photo date: 12-18-04.


Southwest Museum as seen from Casa Adobe. Photo date: 12-18-04.

Southwest Museum as seen from Casa Adobe. Photo date: 12-18-04.

Plaza. Photo date: 12-18-04.

Plaza. Photo date: 12-18-04.

Grapes. Photo date: 12-18-04.

Grapes. Photo date: 12-18-04.
Oven
Oven. Photo date: 12-18-04.
Interior Space
Interior Space. Photo date: 12-18-04.
Underside of Roof
Underside of roof. Photo date: 12-18-04.





In December, the Museum hosts a traditional Spanish Las Posadas Celebration at Casa Adobe. Las Posadas is Spanish for "the Inns." This Christmas play reenacts Mary and Joseph's search for a shelter in Bethlehem. The audience gathers in the courtyard holding candles and follows the precession from door to door while singing. The festivities continue with Mexican hot chocolate and pan duice (sweet bread) followed by the breaking of a piñata by children in attendance.

Breaking of a piñata. Photo date: 12-18-04.

Breaking of a piñata. Photo date: 12-18-04.

Breaking of a piñata. Photo date: 12-18-04.

Breaking of a piñata. Photo date: 12-18-04.

Breaking of a piñata. Photo date: 12-18-04.

Breaking of a piñata. Photo date: 12-18-04.

Breaking of a piñata. Photo date: 12-18-04.

Finishing. Photo date: 12-18-04.

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This page last updated: Sunday, 07-Jul-2013 02:49:16 EDT

Note:This is not the official site for any of the places shown in Places Earth. Places Earth is not responsible for accuracy of the information. Hours of operations, prices, exhibits, and sometimes locations are subject to change without notice.

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