A woman's work is in the West

Historians in the News

Virginia Scharff was being given a tour of the Autry National Center in Los Angeles when she was presented with an immediate curatorial challenge.

Scharff, a historian, novelist and professor of history at the University of New Mexico, had just been appointed to be the chair of the Women of the West studies at the Autry's Institute for the Study of the American West.

"I was brought in specifically to do exhibits about women's role in Western history," she said, "and I remember someone asking me how would I change the gallery we were walking through so that it would better reflect the influence and impact of women.

"I just looked around for a moment, and said, 'I'd just add the word "Women" to the title over the entrance,' " Scharff said, laughing....

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