The Wende Museum: Hot Topics on the Cold War - Atlas Obscura

Culver City, California

The Wende Museum: Hot Topics on the Cold War

Located in an empty Cold War Armory in Culver City, the Wende Museum is one of the world's largest collections of Cold War-era ephemera, paraphernalia, artifacts, and archives.

Join Field Agent Benjamin Harmon for an after-hours tour of the Wende Museum  with a walk-through of the new exhibits, exclusive access to the art collection in storage and a vodka sampling in the outdoor sculpture garden.

The Wende Museum houses around 100,000 items connected to the Cold War, including consumer products, media (including thousands of home movies and educational films from the era), sanctioned government paintings, countercultural artwork, and surveillance equipment (e.g., a camera hidden in a pen, fake passports, and crude satellites). The Museum also holds a collection of more than 21,000 books and periodicals published in both East Germany and the Soviet Union on a diverse range of subjects.

During this tour, Chief Curator Joes Segal will lead us through the permanent collection, including two new exhibitions, Crumbling Empire: The Power of Dissident Voices and Upside-Down Propaganda: The Art of North Korean Defector Sun Mu, both just recently opened on February 10th.

We will then have an exclusive opportunity to view some of the art collection in storage, which is usually locked and closed to the public. The evening will conclude in the lovely outdoor sculpture garden with a vodka sampling, age-permitting of course. There's also a small new photo exhibit located outside in an old guardhouse, titled Red Alert! Air Raid Sirens of Los Angeles, which we will be able to view. 

Although the Museum is open Friday through Sunday to the general public, docents are not typically available during public hours. Furthermore, the vodka tasting and additional access to the storage collection is exclusive to this event. So quit STALIN and get your ticket already!


  • Family-friendly! All ages welcome.
  • Only those who are 21+ will be able to partake in the vodka tasting; ID required.
  • Note that some of the art/pieces featured in the photographs may not be on display as exhibits are always rotating.
  • Please wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for at least one hour of standing and walking at the museum.
  • Bring your camera and share your photos with us!
  • Free parking is available in the lot.


Email Benjamin Harmon at

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Advance tickets only. All sales final. No refunds or exchanges.