Founder David Wilson had the creativity and the guts (envy alert) to create this strange and enchanting space that appears to play with fact and fiction—while making us realize we do that all the time when editing, choosing and presenting what we want to see as valuable material. It makes us take a step back and think about what a museum really is. (For those who want the extended story, it’s chronicled nicely in the book Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder.)
Still, for all the recognition over the years (a MacArthur grant!), I find that many folks whom I imagine would enjoy this offbeat collection and enigmatic point-of-view have zoomed right by its understated location on Venice Boulevard, so I’m doing my part to direct you there. I’m not going to detail its artifacts, which range across the spectrum from earnestly scientific to freak show romantic to plain random. You should have the same dose of wonder and confusion as the visitor who stumbles off the street. Here, however, are some images to whet the appetite and satisfy the visual requirements of this broadcast:
Warning: This place is not for everyone. I remember a boyfriend who was quite incensed that we had wasted our afternoon at “this fraud” of a museum. By the same token, perhaps it became a litmus test… Years later another date was equally charmed and intrigued when I took him there early on. We’re now married.