If you follow my blog, then you know that a fun spot like this is right up my alley. Noah Purifoy is an artist that I actually first got turned onto when I visited LACMA and saw some of his unique assemblage sculptures that were on display at the museum. After further research, I found that there is a full installation of his art still on display out in Joshua Tree, and I knew I needed to go check it out. I have been back many times since the initial visit and always love exploring more; here is all the information.
- Cost: Free but donations suggested
- Hours: Sunrise to sunset I believe
- Location: 63030 Blair Lane, Joshua Tree, CA 92252
- Special Notes: A quarter-mile is on a dirt road as you drive there
- Information from my visit in 2015 and 2019
From the city of Joshua Tree, heading towards Arizona on Highway 62, you will turn left on Sunburst, right on Golden, left on Border, then right on Aberdeen. At the end of Aberdeen, you should see a sign that will point you onto the short dirt road that leads to the parking area for the installation.
The Art Installation
The installation takes up about 2.5 acres or so (just a guess), and it is a pretty good-sized area. You can donate a few dollars to the preservation of this excellent spot at the box in the front and also take a program that tells you about the area if you donate. This program will explain to you the history of the man himself and how the installation came to be.
I found the best quote in the entire program to be the following:
“I hope my work inspires a person to do today what they couldn’t do yesterday, no matter what it is. That’s art.”
This installation was created when Noah moved his practice from LA to Joshua Tree in 1989. Until his death in 2004, he filled the area with his assemblage sculptures, working with any material he could get his hands on to create the structures that are still there today.
I can’t say much about the art, as there was not a lot of information available for each of the pieces, but I thoroughly enjoyed walking around the installation and just checking it all out. Here are a few photos.
My favorite was the piece I had seen in LACMA with the upside-down bicycle, which you can see below.
Many of the pieces are still on display in LACMA, and they are noted by plaques showing where they would have been.
I really liked the below piece as was an old, dilapidated house, and it reminded me of something you would see in Fallout 4.
Next, this piece reminded me of the Golden Gate Bridge.
All in all, this is a great place to explore with lots of stuff to see. Be sure to respect the art if you visit so that others can enjoy it for years to come as well. Let me know what your favorite piece is in the comments.