The Land of Oz

Small museums sometimes offer their visitors a rare opportunity to participate in another individual's dreams. The Land of Oz Park on Beech Mountain, North Carolina, is such a space. In a walled off forest on the peak of a mountain, Jack Pentes transformed his obsession with Frank L Baum’s classic narrative and its film adaptation into a literal fantasy environment. From a memorabilia collection inside a recreation of Dorothy’s house to a Yellow Brick Road trailing through an enchanted forest, the park represents a life’s work invested into escapism and the otherworldly. Closed since 1980, the park’s gates are re-opened on occasion so that local residents might experience local history and nostalgia. In 2013, we gained access to the Land of Oz in order to experience and document its lonely decline. 

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© Brendan Griebel and Jude Griebel