The Research Institute of Contemporary Outlaws (RICO) is a museum dedicated to the understanding and promotion of the culture of modern renegades. Based in Los Angeles, RICO locates, obtains, preserves, catalogues, and displays artifacts related to modern American outlaws. RICO’s mission is to promote a better understanding of outlaws who have often been unfairly characterized in their own time and marginalized by history.
The museum’s staff includes two full-time professional archivists who arrange and describe the collections to the highest industry standards. Both archivists have had long careers at premier universities.
RICO’s current project – California’s outlaw motorcycle clubs from 1950 to 1970 – has more than 50,000 artifacts, including: “club colors” (vests), photographs, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings, letters, rosters, survivor club choppers (preserved, period motorcycles that were owned by club members), hundreds of hours of interview footage with former club members (many now deceased), personal ephemera, funeral paraphernalia, original logo art, jewelry, and other fashion items.
Due to the sensitivity of the RICO’s collection, the museum is not currently open to the public. Likewise, at this time, items from the collection cannot be loaned-out from our secure facility. Academics, documentarians, artists, and others with a valid research interest may request private viewings of the collection by emailing us here.
RICO is always looking for future projects. If you have an idea, or know of a collection that warrants preservation and study, please reach out.
Finally, if you have authentic items that fit within one of our projects, please email here to speak with our collections team regarding sale or donation.