At first glance, the gray building that encases the Museum of Jurassic Technology seems glaringly normal. But the moment after you step through the black door, you are taken into another world, one where everything you thought you knew about history is questioned.
The Museum of Jurassic Technology is an institute located in Culver City with a history of almost 30 years. With numerous exhibits and displays, it is a unique platform for many different archives.
The museum is particularly special in their presentation of idealism. Administrative Director and Archivist Hana Van der Peyur describes most of the museum’s exhibits as being “not artifact based and not necessarily about a historic object,” but rather as illustrative. Many of the displays are created by those who work at the museum or essentially found objects that have been acquired through various means.
Director David Wilson and Van de Peyur strongly believe in allowing their visitors to construct their own opinions of the museum. They welcome and are open to different reactions, whether it’s laughter or uncertainty.
“Some people come in, sit down at the introductory slideshow and start to laugh and laugh uproariously at every exhibit in the place,” Wilson said. “We’re not entirely sure what they’re laughing at but it’s great. Laughter is an amazing human response and if [the museum] causes laughter in people, wonderful.”
The museum itself is split into two floors and a rooftop courtyard. Majority of the exhibits reside downstairs, separated into different shadowy rooms. The exhibits are softly lit for the purpose of preserving material culture. However, the lighting also serves to set the atmosphere.
“The downstairs has some of the darkest corners, and I think it’s partly because we have an appreciation for things dimly seen,” said Van der Peyur. “It also creates a more intimate experience with an object when you’re surrounded by shadows and are able to attune to just one thing.”
The second floor houses the infamous Tula Tearoom, the theater, the courtyard and several other exhibits. Concerts are hosted by the museum about eight times a year in the tearoom or courtyard.
Since there is a limit as to how many people can attend these concerts and tickets sell out within a day of posting, Wilson and Van der Peyur hope to expand these areas in the future.
The museum’s future is still unknown.
“The idea of the museum in the future is still evolving and something that we’re still trying to imagine,” Van de Peur said.
Wilson and Van der Peur explain that their goals are to keep the museum running while slowly expanding it.
“At some point in the future in five or ten years or more down the line we’d love to open an additional building that would have more space,” said Van der Peyur.