Art. Culture. Life.

Two Coachella Valley Museums Cover Salton Sea Story: “Mysteriously Enchanting” to “Desert Abyss”

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La Quinta Museum FlyerThe La Quinta Museum is presenting “The Mysteriously Enchanting Salton Sea,” a special summer exhibit through September 21, 2013 exploring the fascinating history of what was referred to as the Salton Rivera in the 50s and 60s. Also included in the exhibit are panels from “Portraits and Voices of the Salton Sea,” a new book by Christina Lange.

The Sun Runner, the magazine of the real California Desert writes, “With over 500,000 visitors per year in its heyday, the Salton Sea offered marinas, championship golf courses, shopping centers, a private airstrip and luxury resort hotels. Bing Crosby, Sonny Bono, the Beach Boys, Jerry Lewis, the Marx Brothers and other celebrities flocked to the Sea along with President Eisenhower who tried out the new Salton City golf course. By the mid-1960s park attendance rivaled that of Yosemite National Park.” 


The Salton Sea History Museum has given the exhibit its seal of approval stating: 

“The La Quinta Museum has a wonderful exhibit on the Salton Sea …. that includes many pieces of memorabilia on loan from early ‘Salton Sea’ families and the Salton Sea History Museum archives. Be sure and visit the museum gift shop while you’re there. They have many Salton Sea gifts including the famous Salton Sea ashtray reproduction shown below, with all profits going to the Salton Sea History Museum.”

Palm Springs Life writes, “What drew vacationers to this recreation spot? The Museum’s exhibit tells the story of the Salton Sea as a destination for camping, water skiing, fishing, hiking, bird watching, and boating. The movie industry saw the Sea as a premier location to film pictures. Real estate entrepreneurs promoted the Sea as a place that was “mysteriously enchanting and teeming with adventure.” 

La Quinta Museum | 77885 Avenida Montezuma, La Quinta, CA 92253 | 760-777-7170
Open Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Meanwhile, over at the Palm Springs Art Museum, Artist-in-Residence Cristopher Cichocki (former LQAF Visual Art Scholarship recipient)  has just unveiled a new large scale art installation entitled “Desert Abyss: Cycle in Cycle”  to boost awareness of the declining Salton Sea.  This multi-sensory installation examines the past, present, and future of the Coachella Valley from its ancient underwater origins to the timely environmental issues that are on the horizon. Read more in The Desert Sun article by Beth Roessner printed August 16, 2013. Cichocki’s exhibit will run through September 28, 2013 in Zone 101 in the Hoover Gallery. 

Palm Springs Art Museum | 101 Museum Drive, Palm Springs CA 92262 | 760-322-4800