Tuesday, October 09, 2018

The Wende Museum

Ephemera at The Wende Museum

During my brother, Ken's visit to Los Angeles we managed to sneak in a visit to The Wende Museum in Culver City. I've been wanting to visit ever since it opened in the former U.S. National Guard Armory in Culver City in 2017. It takes out of town visitors to prompt exploration of our city!
Ken Bloom at The Wende Museum, Culver City

The Wende Museum of the Cold War is more than just a building holding artifacts, it is an art museum, historical archive, musical and educational institution. "Wende" is a German word meaning "transformation," a period of transition and change leading up to the toppling of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991This fascinating museum was founded in 2002 by Justinian Jampol, an L.A. native (and boy wonder) who traveled and studied in Eastern Europe. He started to collect everything he could find related to the Soviet Union and the former Eastern Bloc. Historical artifacts from this era were being destroyed during this time. Jampol's collection was brought back to Los Angeles. He organized the collection and established a non-profit organization to fund it. Eventually, the collection was moved to Culver City.
Storage and Library

The Wende is easy to find. It's just west of Veteran's Memorial Auditorium on Culver Boulevard. There is plenty of free parking surrounding the building.
Cultural Artifacts

I was most impressed with the design of the interior and exterior of the Museum. Depending on the current exhibition, the huge building is divided into hallways and rooms that are easy to navigate. At the east end of the building is a lovely garden area with benches, meeting rooms and offices. 
Ken and Larry, outside at The Wende Museum

Air Raid Siren

This past weekend, there was a 1977 Wartburg 353 automobile, a car produced in East Germany. It looked very practical, except for it's snazzy color!
1977 Wartburg 353 Automobile
Concert Area

There was a piano set up inside the Museum. I would like to go back for a musical performance in the future. I also want to return to thoroughly tour this fascinating collection! I'll see you there!
Vandalized Lenin Bust, 1965/1989. Plaster. This icon was spray-painted in pink and turquoise by protesters.

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