Museum Galleries and Exhibits

The El Paso Gallery contains information on the natural history, history and prehistory of the Indian Wells Valley and surrounding areas.

New Archaeology Exhibit

By Sandy Rogers, Archaeological Curator

sandy new exhibit photo1The archaeology exhibits have been updated for 2016. The exhibit on the north wall of the El Paso gallery is now entitled “Coso Obsidian – Production and Exchange”. The exhibit focuses on the quarrying, use, and exchange of obsidian in the Coso volcanic field over the past 11,000 years. Examples show obsidian from various sources, and are arranged to demonstrate the manufacturing sequence for flaked stone tools.

Samples of student art work are now displayed in the El Paso Room.

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Natural History

There are three ecology areas reflecting the Creosote Scrub Habitat, the Joshua Tree Community and the Foothills Community. The museum has a rotating bird exhibit and a permanent aerial exhibit of large local birds.

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Paleontology

Mammoth and bison bones from China Lake are on display. There is also a high-tech exhibit of a saber-tooth cat.

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Permanent Exhibits

The museum has exhibits on mining at Searles Lake, the geothermal area in the Coso Range, and the activities of the Navy at China Lake.

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Geology

The geology and mineral exhibits showcase the complex local geologic history, including a wide range of fossils, rocks and minerals found in this area.

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History Exhibits

Changing exhibits of photographs and artifacts illustrate aspects of our colorful history. Featured now is an exhibit on the Centennial of Naval Aviation.

Parked at Armitage Field, China Lake, in 1945 is a B-29 Superfortress specially modified for super-secret work on non-nuclear aspects of the Manhattan Project. The Naval Ordnance Test Station used the B-29 to study the behavior of A-bomb shapes (”pumpkins”) when they were dropped from their host aircraft. The runways at Armitage Field were built extra-long to accommodate this and other Superfortresses.

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Discovery Area

This area is designed for children of all ages. Kids can investigate discovery boxes and explore many interesting items. We also have a new monitor showing educational programs.

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First Californians

This exhibit describes the prehistoric native cultures of the local area, with displays of tools, baskets, and ornamental artifacts.

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Art Collection

The Maturango Museum art collection is a changing exhibit of art which allows visitors to enjoy paintings from our permanent collection.

 The mission of the Maturango Museum is to preserve, interpret, and develop an appreciation for the natural and cultural history of the Northern Mojave Desert through research and education in the natural and physical sciences, and to promote the arts.

Featured Artist Interviews

> YouTube 

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100 East Las Flores Ave
Ridgecrest, CA 93555
760-375-6900 | FAX 760-375-0479
Open Daily 10 am to 5 pm
(Excluding Major Holiday)

The Maturango Museum is a Death Valley Tourist Center and  Northern Mojave Visitors Center 

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