The Official Website of Gene Autry, America's Favorite Singing Cowboy

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Fun Autry Fact:

Gene was the only officer in World War II allowed to wear cowboy boots with his uniform.

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Photo Album

2005 Founder's Day Exhibit
"Gene Autry, The Christmas Cowboy"

Each fall, the Museum of the American West presents a special Founder's Day cameo exhibit that showcases one aspect of Gene Autry's life. This photo album provides a behind the scenes look at how such an exhibit is installed by the museum’s Collections Management, Conservation, Curatorial, and Exhibits departments.

The information panels are in place and the mannequin case is almost built.

And here is the mannequin of “the Christmas Cowboy,” Gene Autry.

Securing the case for the mannequin.

Unveiling “the Christmas Cowboy.”

Adjusting the mannequin from head...

...to toe...

...and everywhere in between.

Adding the color floor to the case.

Perfect. And still adjusting the mannequin...

...to match the cover of the record album.

A photocopy of the album cover is used as the guideline for positioning.

Looking good!

Duck detail.

Meanwhile, back at the case things are measuring up.

Moving the mannequin into the case...

...takes a team of folks!

And now the task to properly positing the Christmas Cowboy inside the case.

Looks good here...

...and here...

...and here.

Securing the stand.

Meanwhile, down in the Collections Department the other Christmas Cowboy artifacts are prepared for transfer to the exhibit.

“Left Case” items ready to roll.

“Right Case” items set to go as well.

Hmmmm... what could be in the freight elevator?

Why, it's the artifacts and museum staff!

My, there are quite a few items on that cart.

And this one, too!

The Right Case is ready for some Cowboy Christmas items.

Over at the Left Case the artifact holders are being installed.

Sheet music waiting to be displayed.

They've made a list and are checking it twice for proper placement of Christmas items.

Original record and sleeve.

And now the careful transfer of the record sleeve from the transfer cart...

...to the holder...

...and another one...

...and finally Rudolph.

Here is a very cool Rudolph envelope.

Properly securing a script for display.

And here is a nifty box of Christmas recordings getting the careful placement treatment, too.

All the artifacts are carefully placed for their safety as well as positioning for best viewing by visitors.

The Collection gals are transferring a special arrangement of sheet music.

It is hand written.

Now the sheet music must be moved to the custom made holder.

Perfect!

More sheet music, this time the kind that you might find in your piano bench at home.

Here comes a very special record.

It also has a custom made holder...

...and requires proper placement.

WOW – a sampling of Gene Autry’s Christmas music history is looking good!

The protective case cover is being prepped for transfer.

Check out the suction cup handles at the base of the case cover.

It takes six of “Santa's helpers” to put the cover in place.

Careful there fellas!

Almost in place.

Perfect! Now they have to remove all those finger prints.

The Right Case installation is next.

Check out the tools of the Museum Case Installation Trade.

Say, I bet you might have this popular Christmas record album in your very own collection at home!

The gals transfer a special award.

That looks very nice!

Next up, Christmas reading material.

Say, that gift Gene is opening on the cover of the comic looks very familiar. Do you recognize those ducks?

Here comes the Gene Autry Christmas cards.

This one is so special we've enlarged it for the information panel.

Now how are we going to display these lovely cards?

With a custom constructed Christmas card holder, of course.

Looking good!

Just a few more to display.

Seven decades of Gene Autry Christmas cards plus items from the Hollywood Christmas Parade are in this case.

Check out the detail in this close up.

Once the protective case cover is up, the reader rail is installed.

Now museum victors can read all about the items in the case.

The Left Case reader rail is now in place.

Thanks guys for creating and installing the Founder's Day “Gene Autry, Christmas Cowboy” Cameo Exhibit at the Autry National Center!

A few days later, the final piece of the exhibit was installed – a photo banner of the Hollywood Christmas Parade from 1933.

The Founder's Day “Christmas Cowboy” Cameo Exhibit is now complete!

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