The Whimsical and Weird Noah Purifoy Museum

Noah Purifoy Outdoor Museum in Joshua Tree

One of the attractions that I explored on my early 2020 trip to Joshua Tree was the Noah Purifoy Museum.

Noah Purifoy (1917-2004) lived and worked most of his life in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, California. He was a prolific artist who worked primarily with found objects to create his sculptures.

He lived for the last 15 years of his life creating ten acres full of large-scale sculpture on the desert floor. Constructed entirely from junked materials, this otherworldly environment is one of California’s great art historical wonders.
Stack of discarded television sets with reflections of desert scenes

As you can probably imagine, the Noah Purifoy museum contains objects and sculptures that range from mildly strange to thoroughly bizarre. It was a lot of fun to explore.

Fenced off area at The Noah Purifoy Outdoor Museum

As you wander between the exhibits and various junk vignettes, some scenes tell an obvious story, and others simply leave you perplexed. It is a great place to let your mind and imagination wander.

Zoom blur of flower detail at Noah Purifoy Museum
Bottles in sand zoom blur
bottles in sand zoom blur

Capture & Processing Notes

All of the images in this series were captured handheld with my Canon 6D and 24-105 f/4L lens. Processing was done in Lightroom, Luminar 4, and Aurora HDR.

Visiting the Noah Purifoy Outdoor Museum

If you find yourself in the city of Joshua Tree, the novelty of this museum is worth the dusty drive (dirt roads are involved) to check out. Entrance is free and the museum is open year-round from sun up to sundown. Get more info to plan your visit here.

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