August 2008

Museum of Jurassic Technology

Often in conversation, someone will say, “Have you been to the Museum of Jurassic Technology?”  The responses usually go something like, “No–but I've heard about it.”  People who have been tell others “You really must go–there is nothing quite like it.”

This little museum in Culver City is often referred to as a work of conceptual art, but in fact is a repository of “relics and artifacts from the Lower Jurassic, with an emphasis on those that demonstrate unusual or curious technological qualities.”  The museum was founded by David Wilson and Diana Wilson in 1989, and is housed in a rather nondescript building on Venice Blvd. But once you enter....

Modeled after 18th century cabinets of curiosities, which were around before natural history museums became popular, the museum as well as its website sparks the imagination; mysteriously dark in tone with scientifically presented exhibits and facts that may or may not be true (that is the beauty of it).  Some visitors respond with laughter and curiosity while others seem only puzzled.

Some of the permanent exhibits include:

  • A collection of stereographic X-ray flower photographs.
  • A collection dedicated to trailer park culture (Garden of Eden on Wheels).
  • Microscopic collages made entirely from butterfly wing scales.

Just as wonderful and strange as the museum is their website.  On it, the visitor can read about the museum, see a list of past exhibits, get membership information, and buy from their museum store.  Of special note is their page called, “Sympathetic Institutions,” a list of other unusual places of interest.

Do I hear Field Trip anyone?

The Museum of Jurassic Technology
9341 Venice Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

Reviewer: Cynthia Aaron, FIDM Library Staff Member