Happy Birthday to Charles F. Lummis, founder of the Southwest Museum!
Photograph of Charles F. Lummis at his desk, El Alisal, June 15, 1900. Braun Research Library Collection, Autry National Center; P.33874
Charles Fletcher Lummis was a visionary, an eager student, and an even more eager teacher. When we hear his name we usually think first of his strong character, but we must also remember him as a collector and the founder of a museum. Pictured here are some samples from his collection.
Early Classic-style poncho (beeldlei or baghatl’oni), Navajo, 1840–1860. This textile is one of the oldest and finest documented Navajo ponchos in existence. Southwest Museum of the American Indian Collection, Autry National Center; 457.G.1
Photograph of Charles F. Lummis wearing a Navajo poncho, circa 1925. Used as the frontispiece for his last book, Mesa, Cañon and Pueblo. Braun Research Library Collection, Autry National Center; P.32739
Early Classic-style blanket-serape (beeldlei), Navajo , 1840–1860. Southwest Museum of the American Indian Collection, Autry National Center; 457.G.5
Besides artifacts, Lummis also collected stories and songs. Lummis began saving the music of the West in 1905 “to catch our archaeology alive.” You can listen to some of the songs from his Spanish Songs of Old California, the culmination of his ethnomusicology project from 1923, on our Collections Spotlights page: http://theautry.org/collections/spanish-songs-of-old-california.
Charles F. Lummis playing guitar for his children, Turbese and Jordan, in the courtyard of El Alisal, Los Angeles, California, July 31, 1903. Braun Research Library Collection, Autry National Center; P.33557
Join us as we celebrate the 153rd birthday of our favorite March Hare. For more photos of the man who tramped across the continent, see our Charles F. Lummis page on Facebook:
Portrait of Charles F. Lummis by Gerald Cassidy, July 21st, 1915; Autry National Center; 457.G.28