The Autry National Center, Los Angeles, CA

The Autry National Center

EXHIBITION - Inventing Custer: Legends of the Little Big Horn

25 May 1996 to 2 September 1996

Produced by the Autry Museum for the 120th anniversary of the Battle of the Little Big Horn, Inventing Custer explored how the historic Custer and the battle he so dramatically lost have come to be mythologized. Drawn from objects surrounding the battle itself as well as a wide assortment of art and artifacts, including the Zaricor Flag Collection's two Custer guidons, the exhibition allowed visitors to interpret for themselves the stories that have perpetuated the symbolism - and the public fascination with - General George Armstrong Custer. Ledger art, pictorial works, oral histories, Indian literature and artifacts are Indian literature and artifacts were used to reflect the often ignored observations and viewpoints of Native American Indian participants, observers and descendants.

SYMPOSIUM - Inventing Custer: Legends of the Little Big Horn

10 August 1996

The shifting social and political consequences of the 1876 Battle of the Little Big Horn was discussed at a symposium held at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage (now Autry National Center of the American West.) The keynote theme included the exploration of the historical and contemporary perspectives of the event and its continuing hold it has on the American consciousness. Presenters included Michael Blake the author of Dances with Wolves and Marching to Valhalla and Vine Deloria Jr., noted American Indisn scholar and author of Custer Died For Your Sins.

(Above Top) ZFC0490 - General George A. Custer's Headquarters Command designating Guidon, 3rd Div. Cavalry Dic., 1864.
(Above Bottom) ZFC0489 - General George A. Custer's Third Personal Civil War Cavalry Guidon, 1864-1865.

SCREENING - Will the Real Custer Please Stand: Hollywood Myth-making

11 August 1996

A screening of the film Fort Apache (1948) historian Paul Hutton described the use of film making in the mythologizing of George Armstrong Custer. Selected clips from Custer's Last Fight (1912), The Plainsman (1937), They Died With Their Boots On (1941), and Little Big Man (1970) decicted the various portrayals of Custer in popular cinema through the years.