Museum of Jurassic Technology

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The Museum of Jurassic Technology is an educational institution dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and the public appreciation of the lower jurassic. Located at 9341 Venice Boulevard in the Palms district of Los Angeles, California, the Museum holds a specialized repository of relics and artifacts evoking some of the more obscure and poetic aspects of natural history, the history of technology and science, and their entwined realizations in human artistry and ingenuity. It was founded by David Hildebrand Wilson and Diana Drake Wilson in 1987.


Contents

Overview

The Museum of Jurassic Technology traces its origins to the earliest days of the institution of the museum, which it dates back to Noah's Ark, the first and most complete Museum of Natural History known to man. The Museum's catalog includes a mixture of artistic, scientific as well as some unclassifiable exhibits, and evokes the cabinets of curiosities that were the 18th century predecessors of modern natural history museums. The factual claims of many of the Museum's exhibits strain credibility, provoking a rich array of interpretations from commentators. The Museum was the subject of a book by Lawrence Weschler in 1995 entitled "Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder," and the Museum's founder David Wilson received a MacArthur Foundation fellowship in 2001.

The Museum's introductory slideshow recounts that, "In its original sense, the term, "museum" meant "a spot dedicated to the Muses, a place where man's mind could attain a mood of aloofness above everyday affairs." In this spirit, the Museum of Jurassic Technology's dimly lit atmosphere, wood and glass vitrines and labyrinthine floorplan lead visitors through an eclectic range of exhibits on art, natural history, history of science, philosophy, and anthropology with a special focus on the history of museums, and the varieties of paths to knowledge. The Museum attracts approximately 18,000 visitors per year.

Over the years, the Museum has expanded both in terms of its exhibitions as well as other public offerings. In 2005, the Museum opened its Tula Tea Room, a Russian-style tea room where Georgian tea and cookies are served to patrons. This room is a miniature reconstruction of the study of Tsar Nicolas II from the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Borzoi Kabinet Theater screens a series of poetic documentaries produced by the Museum of Jurassic Technology in collaboration with St. Petersburg-based arts and science collective, Kabinet. The series of films entitled A Chain of Flowers draws its name from the quote by Charles Willson Peale: The Learner must be led always from familiar objects toward the unfamiliar, guided along, as it were, a chain of flowers into the mysteries of life. The titles of the films are Levsha: The Cross-eyed Lefty from Tula and the Steel Flea, Obshee Delo: The Common Task, and Bol'shoe Sovietskaia Zatmenie: The Great Soviet Eclipse.

Publications

The Museum also produces a series of leaflets and books about museum exhibits including:

  • On the Foundation of the Museum The Thums Gardeners & Botanists
  • The Eye of the Needle: The Unique World of Microminiatures of Hagop Sandaldjian, with an essay by Ralph Rugoff
  • Geoffrey Sonnabend: Obliscence: Theories of Forgetting and the Problem of Matter
  • Bernard Maston, Donald R. Griffith and the Deprong Mori of the Tripsicum Plateau,
  • Garden of Eden on Wheels: Selected Collections from Los Angeles Area Mobile Home and Trailer Parks
  • No One May Ever Have the Same Knowledge Again: Letters to Mt. Wilson Observatory, 1915-1935
  • Das Museum Kircherianum: Die Welt besteht aus geheimen Verknüpfungen
  • Napoleona
  • The Museum of Jurassic Technology: Jubilee Catalog: Primi Decem Anni

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