The Autry Reopens Long-Closed Tunnel Under the Southwest Museum


The Autry museum has teamed up with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to open up a section of the long-closed Southwest Museum in Highland Park. New York artists Brock Enright and Thomas McDonell have created works to be displayed in 20 historic niches inside an entrance tunnel located about 100 feet below the museum. Fans of the oldest museum in Los Angeles will finally be able to visit the incredible 1920 pedestrian entrance modeled on Casa de Monjas at Chichen-Itza, as well as the 224-foot passageway in all its dark and magnificent glory.

After the Autry took over operations of the Southwest Museum in 2003, the collections were moved to climate controlled storage and the galleries were mostly closed to the public. Originally, the niches in the tunnel walls held vintage dioramas depicting the daily lives of the native peoples of Los Angeles. Through the end of this month they will hold the work of McDonnell and Enright. McDonnell has created art with packing peanuts and bubble wrap, and Enright’s work is full of found objects like an old sock and a Ritz cracker. Maybe I don’t completely understand contemporary art, but I do know that a visit to the Southwest Museum is always worth the trip.

Southwest Museum
234 Museum Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90065

Free Admission.

 On View through February 27, 2016
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays: 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.