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Leonard Knight, Salvation Mountain

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About the Artist/Site

For almost thirty years, Leonard Knight applied brightly colored adobe to this three-story mountainside in the California desert, forming flowers, waterfalls, and rivers to enhance biblical verses that proclaimed his message “God is Love.” Hay bales, tree trunks, and various found objects were also covered with candy-colored adobe, forming a complex and compelling masterpiece. He welcomed all comers, and despite his spiritual message, resisted being pigeon-holed by organized religious groups. Initially decried as an environmental hazard and an unauthorized use of state land, in 2002 it was entered into the Congressional Record as a National Treasure.

In December 2011, Knight was moved to an assisted living facility near San Diego, and on February 10, 2014, he passed away. He was 82.

Even before his departure from the mountain, Knight had not been addressing ongoing conservation needs with as much energy and attention as earlier; numerous cracks and peeling, fading paint now mar the Mountain’s impact. After Knight was no longer in residence, an ad-hoc group of supporters, drawn in part from his neighbors at Slab City, formed a nonprofit organization with the hope of preserving Knight’s masterpiece for future generations, but there remain unanswered ownership questions as well as significant security and stability challenges. Nevertheless, the site remains open, and volunteers are working to ensure its survival in the immediate future.



SPACES Archives Holdings

4 folders, 1 binder: clippings, correspondence, images, pamphlets

Related Documents

Commercial filming guidelines for Salvation Mountain

Postcard for Slab City

Email thread between SPACES/Jo Farb Hernandez, Lisa Stone, Art Institute of Chicago, and Daniel Paul, 2/2010

Letter to Robert C. Hight, CA State Lands Commission from Holly Metz, 9/1/1994

Letter to SPACES/Seymour Rosen from Holly Metz, 9/1/1994

Petition to save Salvation Mountain

Petition to save Salvation Mountain

Letter from SPACES/Seymour Rosen, 8/26/1994

Brief bio of Leonard Knight, 2/27/1999

Flyer for Salvation Mountain Film, 9/9/1995

Press release for “Visions from the Left Coast” exhbition, 9/9/1995

Flyer for “Visions from the Left Coast” exhbition symposium, 10/7/1995

Info about preservation of Knight site

Draft for petition to save Salvation Mountain

Letter to Leonard Knight from Joe Adams, America Oh Yes!

Notes about lead analysis of Salvation Mountain

Letter to Larry from SPACES, 8/23/1994

Info about Salvation Mountain, 8/17/1994

Letter to Leonard (Knight?) from Geroge (?)

Letter to Leonard Knight from Larry Yust, 12/27/1995

Letter to Leonard Knight from Larry Yust, 9/15/1995

Letter to Leonard Knight from Larry Yust, 2/5/1995

Letter to Leonard Knight from Larry Yust, 7/15/1995

Letter to Leonard Knight from Larry Yust, 12/12/1995

Letter to Leonard Knight from Sidney Williams, Palm Springs Desert Museum, 1/30/1996

Letter to Jon Nelson, Décor Home Center from Larry Yust, 8/11/1996

Letter to Leonard Knight from Martin?, 6/15/1998

Letter to various recipients from SPACES/Seymour Rosen, 8/26/1994

Letter to Leonard Knight from Larry Yust, 7/15/1995

Letter to SPACES/Seymour Rosen from William V. Morrison, CA State Lands Commission, 7/24/1997

Salvation Mountain Roster

Letter to Don Reese, CA State Lands Commission from SPACES/Seymour Rosen, 5/30/1997

Salvation Mountain Exposure, 5/28/1997

Letter to Leonard Knight from Al and Vi Longden, 4/7/1995

Letter to SPACES/Seymour Rosen from Larry Yust, 9/19/1994

Letter to Don Reese, CA State Lands Commission from Leonard Knight, 9/9/1994

Letter to SPACES/Seymour Rosen from Larry Yust, 8/22/1994

Letter to Leonard Knight from Tree of Life

Letter to SPACES/Seymour Rosen from Leonard Knight, 9/25/1995

Letter to Leonard Knight from Larry Yust, 3/22/1996

Letter to SPACES/Seymour Rosen from Leonard Knight, 7/15/1995

Letter to SPACES/Seymour Rosen from Ginny Brush, Brush and Associates, 1/7/1998

New Year’s Greetings

Letter to Larry Yust from SPACES/Seymour Rosen

Fax to SPACES/Seymour Rosen from American Visionary Art Museum Trustees, 3/8/2007

Invitation to celebrate first printing of Slavation Mountain book, 4/26/1998

Health or Hazard?-or Boondoggle!

Loners on Wheels newsletter, 9/1994

Letter from Ken Warneke and Jan Carmichael

Brief bio of Leonard Knight

Congressional Record, 5/15/2002

Letter to Larry Yust, New Leaf Press from Al Weber, 2/15/1999

Draft for possbile workshop at Salvation Mountain

List of various publications

Letter to Leonard Knight

Programs for Reeltime

Flyer for “Minds in Motion”, 6/1999

 

Map and site information

Not Exact Address
Niland, California, United States
Latitude/Longitude: 33.278361 / -115.427396

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