Keynote Lecture - Westward Stories: New Models of Interpretation and Museum Building

W. Richard West, Jr. president and CEO, Autry National Center of the American West

IARC Speaker Series, St. Francis Auditorium, at the New Mexico Museum of Art

Wednesday, May 6, 2015, 6:00 pm, Free

The Autry National Center of the American West envisions itself as a “third wave” institution of cultural interpretation. With both colonial and anti-colonial approaches to narrative as backdrop, the Autry assumes, uses, and affirms the presence of distinct interpretive voices from both inside and outside the museum. But it also takes a critical additional step: the Autry sweeps horizontally across the stories of the American West to interweave and interconnect the multiple threads of cultural experience and history — in the end, the “multi-cultural” becomes the “inter-cultural” and in doing so creates a more integrated narrative that makes all stories of the American West, past and present, more whole.

W. Richard West Jr.W. Richard West Jr. Photo courtesy of W. Richard West Jr.W. Richard West Jr. Photo courtesy of W. Richard West Jr.W. Richard West Jr. is the president and chief executive officer of the Autry National Center of the American West in Los Angeles, California. West has devoted his professional life and much of his personal life to working in the national and international museum communities, and with American Indians on cultural, educational, legal, and governmental issues. He was the founding director and director emeritus of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, where he served as director from 1990–2007. He most recently served as the interim director of the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C. Before his museum career, he practiced law at the Indian-owned Albuquerque, New Mexico, law firm of Gover, Stetson, Williams & West, P.C. He holds a bachelor’s degree in American history magna cum laude from the University of Redlands, a master’s degree in American history from Harvard University, and a Juris Doctor degree from Stanford University, where he served as an editor and note editor of the Stanford Law Review. West is a citizen of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Nation of Oklahoma and a peace chief of the Southern Cheyenne.

Videography by John Sadd

Videography by John Sadd

Sponsored by School for Advanced Research and Ralph T. Coe Foundation for the Arts

Follow us: