MacArthur Fellows Program

David Wilson

Artist and Curator | Class of 2001

Portrait of David Wilson
Artist and Curator
Culver City, California
55 at time of award
Published October 1, 2001

About David's Work

David Wilson is an artist, a designer, and the curator of the Museum of Jurassic Technology, a provocative commentary on how we organize and archive cultural artifacts. Through his collection of biological, archaeological, and cultural curiosities in the Museum of Jurassic Technology, Wilson blurs the distinctions among museum, mausoleum, and library. His installations question what museums are, mean, and do. Fact and fiction are displayed with equal precision and diligence, and natural history items share space with artifacts of surreal technology. His displays challenge perceptions of what is real and what is not, and demand reinterpretations of our understanding of science, natural history, mythology, and vernacular art forms. Wilson’s work underscores the fragility of our beliefs, and at the same time, highlights the remarkable potential of the human imagination.


David Wilson received a B.A. (1969) from Kalamazoo College and studied filmmaking at the California Institute of the Arts. Wilson is the director of the Museum of Jurassic Technology, which he founded in 1984 to provide "traveling collections" for galleries, community centers, and museums. In 1988, the permanent home of the museum was established in Culver City, California.

Last updated January 1, 2005.

Select News Coverage of David Wilson
March 31, 2015
"Inside Los Angeles's Strangest Museum"
Smithsonian Magazine
David Wilson , 2001 MacArthur Fellow
October 14, 2014
"Take L.A.'s Museum of Jurassic Technology with a Grain of Salt"
The Sacramento Bee
David Wilson , 2001 MacArthur Fellow
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