Visiting the Holyland Exhibition
One of the things I love about Los Angeles is it’s hidden gems. Outsiders may think it’s a sea of shopping malls and freeways but it’s quite the opposite. There are so many unique things hidden in the nooks and crannies of LA that it’s truly a treasure chest. Take the Holyland Exhibition for example.
This exhibition began in 1924. When it was built it was a significant structure in a pretty rural area but today you’ll find it hidden in a neighborhood in Silver Lake . It was founded by one Antonia F. Futterer, a man rumored to be the inspiration for Indiana Jones. You see, Mr. Futterer once was very sick and began to read the Bible during his convalescence. This began a lifelong devotion to the book and the Holyland. In fact, Mr. Futterer was convinced he could find the Ark of the Covenant and went on several quests to locate it. Alas, he came up empty.
Well, empty is not really the right word. Although Mr. Futterer never located the Ark of the Covenant he did amass a large collection of artificacts from the various cultures of the Holyland (Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Egyptian, etc.). These he brought to his exhibition space in Los Angeles where they have been on view to the public ever since.
Recently, I joined Atlas Obscura on a visit to the exhibition and it was amazing. Unfortunately, I didn’t have many opportunities for photos but perhaps that’s for the best. It is truly a wonder to behold and the less you know before going the better. Just know there are various exhibition rooms chock full of ancient (and not so ancient) artifacts. In some areas they cover nearly every surface. There’s also this piece that I managed to snap a picture of.
This statue of Christ once was located in the long lost Clifton’s Pacific Seas. So when visiting, you get a dose of LA history, too.
And did I mention there are snacks?
When going you receive a taste of the Holyland while learning about Mr. Futterer and his Biblical system.
I even sat in an original desk that dated back to 1924!
Whether you’re a believer or not, the Holyland Exhibition is a fascinating glimpse into the history of Los Angeles and the unique people that have called it home.
The Holyland Exhibition is open 365 days a year. Call 323-664-3162 for an appointment.