An Open Air Art Museum and a Sliver of a Moon

I scheduled our Death Valley trip to coincide with a new moon so that the sky would be dark and stars more visible. Indeed, each night we saw Orion high in the sky. One evening we headed to the ghost town of Rhyolite. We hoped that the sunset would be colorful and that the sky would then be studded with stars, creating a backdrop for some photos. It didn’t work out that way. The sunset had some color, but clouds moved in and the wind whipped up. I hadn’t realized how many phone and electrical lines ran across the landscape, creating distractions for sky photos.

Fortunately Rhyolite is more than a ghost town. The Goldwell Open Air Museum is located on the edge of town. Its purpose is to foster art and art appreciation in the Amargosa Desert. They have an artist residency program not too far from Goldwell. Even though the sky wasn’t cooperating, we enjoyed the art. One of the earliest pieces is an interpretation of Da Vinci’s Last Supper. I thought it looked particularly stunning as the gold hues of the sunset lit up the landscape.


A newer piece is this geometric shape. Its paint scheme and the angle of the components make this artwork interesting at any angle.

After the cold exceeded our tolerance, we drove back into the National Park to our accommodations at the Ranch at the Oasis (aka Furnace Creek). When we arrived at the parking lot of our cabin, the very new moon was dipping below the clouds towards the mountains.


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