The Museum of Jurassic Technology

I've got a new favorite place. It's not in the desert either. Here's the deal: My buddy Jason has been trying to get us out for some culture for a while now, and when he got invites to the Museum of Jurassic Technology's member's only open house, well, we couldn't pass that up. See, Jane and I got a book (isn't that always how it starts?) called Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Curiosities, about the museum and its founder David Wilson, and we just couldn't stay away. It's L.A.'s best-kept secret.

Now mostly the MJT is like a natural history museum. Except that it's really an art gallery. Or a performance space. Or a nice place to have a cup of tea. It's got a theatrical Victorian seat-at-the-opera thing goin' on with the decor too, some folk art, some science, some legend and a little bit of magic. There's nothing else like it.

Museum of Jurassic Technology website

So we just got our minds blown over and over with all the weird and wonderful stuff they've got going on – just like the book, but more and better. What's a museum without a human horn? Not much! And MJT's got one – I believe you have to get to the Mutter in Phili to see another. (it is my private belief that the horn is faux, but it tickles me to no end that they made the effort)

 

The photo policy at the MJT is "no flash" but check out their website for better images and explanations. This museum has it all: the Floral Radiographs of Albert G Richards, seen in 3-D for one.

We made our way through, and for a first pass we were especially taken with the Micromosaics of Harald Henry Dalton (who made his mosaics from chunks of irridescent butterfly wings – the one with a hen and chicks is super-cute) and Eye of the Needle: The Unique World of Micominiatures of Hagop Sandaldjian, who made all these miniatures that fit in the eye of a needle and need to be viewed through a microscope. They're great, too – Napoleon is leveling a pistol at you and Donald Duck appears to be dancing a hornpipe.

Upstairs, the Lives of Perfect Creatures: Dogs of the Soviet Space Program exhibit is pretty darned awesome – and touching. A lot of folks brought their dogs to the museum, which was a welcome change.

 

The Garden of Eden On Wheels: Collections from Los Angeles Area Mobile Home Parks was a little more hit-and-miss in terms of the collection, but it was a first-rate display.

 

And Tell The Bees: Belief, Knowledge & Hypersymbolic Cognition, brought together folk wisdom and science; most amusingly mice-on-toast and mouse pie as a cure for bed wetting.

 

Someone thought to put pine boughs on the first-floor landing, which made the whole place smell very Christmas-y.

 

I finally got to meet David Wilson, who is really cool and got re-aquainted with Stephen Berkman, who is doing some awesome cutting-edge work in retro

photography. Michael Rabbit showed up (he never seems to miss a good art opening) as did Michael Gump, who explained why he no longer has the most dangerous back yard in Newhall. Some of the Cacophony Society boys dropped in too, so there was a lot of catchin' up for us non-scenesters to do. Guess I oughtta get out more, and now that I know about the MJT, I might just do that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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~ by ravenjake on December 16, 2008.

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