Zulu #4, 1969

Zulu #4, 1969


Outliers and American Vanguard Art

Now on view at LACMA!

Noah’s work is on view alongside hundreds of artworks by American artists, both schooled and unschooled. The exhibition focuses on the influence Outlier artists have had on the mainstream Modern Art establishment.

“Anyone interested in American modernism should see “Outliers and American Vanguard Art”…. Flaws and all, this groundbreaking adventure highlights outstanding, sometimes rarely-seen artworks; revives neglected histories; and reframes the contributions of self-taught artists to this country’s rich visual culture…” Roberta Smith, NY Times

The show has traveled from the National Gallery of Art and will be on display until March 17, 2019.

For more information…



Congratulations NPF!

Noah Purifoy Foundation was recently awarded a California Arts Council Arts Education Exposure grant to support our Gil Friesen Art Day initiative!

Twice during the school year NPF sponsors an urban Los Angeles middle school art class and its teachers with a day at the sculpture site, named in honor of former trustee, Gil Friesen. Inspired by Noah’s interest in the importance of the arts in education, the full-day curriculum includes charter bus transportation, lunch for the group, a docent-led tour of the Purifoy Outdoor Museum, and a park ranger-led windshield tour of Joshua Tree National Park. Teachers are provided with pre- and post-curriculum materials and activity projects. Thank you CAC for the support!


Totem , 1990’s

Totem, 1990’s


Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power

Opening on September 14, 2018 - February 3, 2019 at the Brooklyn Museum.

The work in this exhibition spans the decades during and after the Civil Rights movement in America, from 1963 - 1983. Over 60 African American artists are represented, who worked individually, and collectively across the country in a wide variety of genres. Their work labors to address the political, social, and cultural issues that existed during this tumultuous period and are still relevant today.

Find out more...


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Art das Kunstmagazin: Wild West Dada

The monthly art magazine published in Hamberg, Germany has included the Noah Purifoy Outdoor Museum in it's January 2018 edition. For friends and followers of Noah who can read and understand the German language.

Read the article here...


Joe Lewis with Noah at the Outdoor Art Museum ©Jim McHugh

Joe Lewis with Noah at the Outdoor Art Museum ©Jim McHugh


The Soul of California: Junk's deeper meaning in Joshua Tree

Joe Lewis is an artist, writer, educator, and the president of the Noah Purifoy Foundation who met Noah after seeing and writing about his retrospective at the California African American Museum in 1997. In this podcast he speaks about Noah's life and his artwork in Los Angeles as an arts and community activist, and in Joshua Tree where Noah spent the last 15 years of his life creating the Outdoor Arts Museum.

Listen to the podcast...


Noah at the Outdoor Art Museum ©Frank Jackson

Noah at the Outdoor Art Museum ©Frank Jackson


Happy Birthday Noah!                 (1917 - 2004)                                                                

On August 17th Noah turned 100 years old!  In this, his centennial year, the Noah Purifoy Foundation will be working towards hosting a number of events that will commemorate his life and art. Please check back for more information. We will update this site as our plans take shape!


“, seeing and hearing about art should inspire people.  Not to do art, or to understand it for that matter, but to look at a piece of work and sense the effort that went into it and hopefully be encouraged to go home and … this is one of my little sayings… do today what you could not do yesterday..."  - Noah Purifoy


Photo by Lance Gerber, DESERT magazine

Photo by Lance Gerber, DESERT magazine


DESERT magazine: "What would Noah Purifoy do?"

Kristin Scharkey speaks with members of the Noah Purifoy Foundation Board of Directors about the difficulties of finding a balance between preserving Noah's Outdoor Museum while maintaining the integrity of the original artwork. "The work is always changing, and that's what Noah wanted to do... We are staying as true to that as possible."  DESERT magazine, June 2017.

Read the feature here...


The Kirby Express , 1994-96

The Kirby Express, 1994-96


VoCA Journal dedicates its issue to the work of progresive artist-endowed foundations.

Contributors to this Fall 2016 issue include leaders from the Noah Purifoy, Jay DeFeo, Helen Frankenthaler, Joan Mitchell and Dedalus foundations. The journal features two contributions from  Richard Cándida Smith, the founding President of the Noah Purifoy Foundation. Read these fascinating insights at the article links below.


Noah sitting on  The White House  in construction, Joshua Tree, early 1990s

Noah sitting on The White House in construction, Joshua Tree, early 1990s


VoCA Journal: Art Is A Confrontation with A "Me" That Needs Improving

Historian Richard Cándida Smith recollects the beginnings of the Noah Purifoy Foundation, and his eventual position as the founding president of the Foundation. Smith recorded several interviews with Noah over the course of four years, and shares Noah's own feelings about the Foundation that was created in his name.

Read the article...


No Contest , 1991

No Contest, 1991


VoCA Journal: Multiple Theoretical Directions: The Noah Purifoy Foundation Today

Richard Cándida Smith served as President of the Noah Purifoy Foundation from its inception in 1998 until 2001., when Joseph Lewis succeeded him. Recently, the two sat down to discuss where the Foundation started, how it has evolved since then, and what's next on the horizon in this second contribution to the VoCA Journal.

Read the article...


Everything and the Kitchen Sink,  1996

Everything and the Kitchen Sink, 1996


Motherboard takes a photo tour of Noah Purifoy's desert museum

Naolmi Melati Bishop and photographer Aaron Purket take a photo tour of Purifoy's Outdoor Museum with a special focus on the "Junk Dada" electronic waste in the desert environment. Bishop  describes Purifoy's work in the high desert terrain - one of striking contrasts and inclement weather: summer days soar above one-hundred-degrees, and winter nights plunge to below freezing.

Read the feature here...