The Museum of Jurassic Technology

Understanding the Lower Jurassic

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US United States
Web http://www.mjt.org/
Maturity

Mature

About the project Edit

The Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles, California is an educational institution dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and the public appreciation of the Lower Jurassic. The museum, a modern day wunderkammer, has been described as "incongruity born of the overzealous spirit in the face of unfathomable phenomena."

The museum claims to have a "specialized repository of relics and artifacts from the Lower Jurassic, with an emphasis on those that demonstrate unusual or curious technological qualities." This explains the museum's name and also suggests its puzzling nature, since the Lower Jurassic ended more than 150 million years before the appearance of hominoids and in particular before anything that could be called technology

The museum’s name is something of a non sequitur, and it's difficult to catagorize its focus. Its holdings are by no means limited to the Jurassic era -- or even natural history -- and there's precious little technology on display. Exhibits in the museum’s seven galleries range from the life and works of Athanasius Kircher -- the 17th century proprietor of one of the world’s first public museums of natural history -- to Charles Evan Fowler’s collection of Napoleonic relics.4

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

The Museum’s catalog includes a mixture of artistic and scientific exhibits that evokes the cabinets of curiosities that were the 18th century predecessors of modern natural history museums. In his 1995 book Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder, author Lawrence Weschler portrays the museum, and David Wilson's curatorial role, as a work of conceptual art.He states that the museum can be seen as a commentary on the authoritarian character of most public museums and upon the trust that patrons place in those authorities. The museum, is a reminder of such historical periods as the beginning of the Renaissance and the turn of the 20th century, times when increased world travel and rapid scientific progress resulted in artifacts that blurred the boundaries between what was considered possible and impossible. The museum, founded in 1984, claims to attract around 6,000 visitors per year.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

According to the museum founder, "Confusion can be a very creative state of mind; in fact, confusion can act as a vehicle to open people's minds. The hard shell of certainty can be shattered…"

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

This kind of cabinet of curiosities can be reproduced on other themes.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

What is the business model of this project? Edit


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