The Museum of Jurassic Technology

The Museum of Jurassic Technology is located in Culver City, California at 9341 Venice Blvd., 90232, and offers visitors an experience full of appreciation for the “Lower Jurassic” which refers to the earliest section of the Jurassic period. Founded by the recipient of the MacArthur Foundation fellowship in 2001, David Hildebrand Wilson from Detroit, Michigan, and his wife Diana Drake Wilson from Dayton, Ohio, the center opened in 1988 and is dedicated to the education and preservation of the more unknown aspects and features of the Jurassic age.

Objects on display at the Museum of Jurassic Technology span a variety of topics including art, history, ethnography, and science in addition to the exhibits that fall under the “unclassified” category. It is believed that the history behind a multitude of the items found in the museum is inauthentic or incredibly exaggerated in nature. Some have trouble classifying what exactly the museum’s purpose is. In an article published in The New York Times, Edward Rothstein described it as a “museum of museums” that evoked a question in the viewer about what exactly they are witnessing.

When touring the museum, visitors can view any of the 30 permanent exhibits on display. These include No One May Ever Have the Same Knowledge Again: Letters to Mt. Wilson Observatory, The Unique World of Microminiatures of Hagop Sandaldjian which showcases micro-miniature sculptures crafted from a strand of hair and rested in the eye of a needle, The Garden of Eden on Wheels: Collections from Los Angeles Area Trailer Parks, and Fairly Safely Venture: String Figures from Many Lands and their Venerable Collectors. One of the museum collections, the Foundation Collection, was featured in Hagen, Germany at the Karl Ernst Osthaus-Museum from 1992 until 2006 under the stewardship of Michael Fehr.

One of the newer features of the Museum of Jurassic Technology is the tea room which is styled after one of Russian origin and serves Georgian-style tea opened in 2005. Called the Tula Tea Room, it is modeled after Tsar Nicholas II’s study in his Winter Palace. There is also a theater that regularly shows productions made by the museum including a series titled A Chain of Flowers with the films “Levsha: The Cross-eyed Lefty from Tula and the Steel Flea (2001), Obshee Delo: The Common Task (2005), Bol’shoe Sovietskaia Zatmenie: The Great Soviet Eclipse (2008), The Book of Wisdom and Lies (2011), and Language of the Birds (2012)”

The museum is referenced in popular culture a couple of times. The first is in Lawrence Weschler’s 1995 book titled Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder: Pronged Ants, Horned Humans, Mice on Toast, and Other Marvels of Jurassic Technology which is about the museum itself. The other was made in 2008 by Orhan Pamuk from Turkey in his book The Museum of Innocence. Anyone can travel to the Palms district of Los Angeles to visit the Museum of Jurassic Technology. It is open Friday from 2 PM to 8 PM as well as Saturday and Sunday from 12 PM to 6 PM. To talk to a representative of the museum, call (310) 836-6131 or email the team at info@mjt.org.

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Map from The Museum of Jurassic Technology to CreatedHair by Amy Gibson

Map from The Museum of Jurassic Technology to Skirball Cultural Center