Justinian (Justin) Jampol

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Justinian (Justin) Jampol is the founder and current executive director of The Wende Museum of the Cold War, an art museum, historical archive, and educational institution in Culver City, California.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Los Angeles, California, in 1978, Jampol graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a B.A. in History.[2] He attended graduate school at Oxford University, where he received a Master of Philosophy in Russian and East European Studies and a Doctor of Philosophy in Modern History.[3] In addition to his leadership role at The Wende Museum, Jampol is adjunct professor at Claremont Graduate University and a frequent commentator on art as well as East European and Russian design.[4]


At age 24, in 2002, Jampol founded The Wende Museum (“Wende” is a German word that means transition or change) while studying visual culture at Oxford University.[5] Over the next dozen years, the museum became the largest collection of Cold War era artifacts and artwork outside of Europe.[6] In late 2016, the museum will occupy its permanent location: the former United States National Guard Armory building in Culver City.

The Wende has become known for producing large-scale, provocative installations. In 2009, in honor of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Jampol brought ten segments (24 tons) of the original Wall from Germany, and placed them along Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, directly across the street from LACMA.[7] At midnight on November 9, 2009, thousands of Angelenos blocked the street to celebrate the monument, which was painted by notable graffiti artists: Shepard Fairey, RETNA, Heraku, Thierry Noir, and D*Face.[8]

In 2013, Jampol’s contribution to Jeremy Deller’s UK Pavilion at the Venice Biennale sparked controversy by implicating Russian oligarchs in the corrupt process of privatization following the collapse of the USSR.[9] Likewise, Jampol’s New York Times Op-Ed about the political crisis in Ukraine and destruction of Soviet statues sparked a pointed debate.[10]

In summer 2014, Jampol co-curated Competing Utopias at the Neutra VDL House in Silver Lake, California, installing three floors of modernist Eastern Bloc design in the former home of the famous California architect Richard Neutra. The show was #3 in the annual Top Ten Exhibitions across the United States.[11]

Also in 2014, Jampol published a 904-page encyclopedia of The Wende Museum’s East German collection called Beyond the Wall: Art and Artifacts from the GDR.[12] The book was produced by Benedikt Taschen and published by TASCHEN Books. It received an overwhelmingly positive review in the New York Times Sunday Book Review.[13] The book launch on November 9, 2014, coincided with the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.[14]

In fall 2015, Jampol guest edited a special supplement of The Art Newspaper on Los Angeles art.[15] Jampol is a “Notable Alumnus” of UCLA.[16] He is the producer of several films about the Cold War and a frequent guest on Travel Channel programs, including Hotel Secrets & Legends, and Mysteries at the Museum, as well as Cooking Channel’s Food: Fact or Fiction, narrated by Michael McKean.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Jampol is married to actress and Wilhelmina model, Filomena Lovin. His brother-in-law is Australian tennis professional Mark Philippoussis.


  1. ^ Heller, Steven (2015-02-19). "Socialist Regime, Commercial Design". The Atlantic.
  2. ^ "UCLA Alumni: JUSTINIAN JAMPOL '00". 2015.
  3. ^ Petrou, Michael (2013-01-30). "A Cold War story told through 70,000 artifacts". Maclean's.
  4. ^ Jampol, Justin (2015-02-10). "Red Space: Promoting a Socialist Destiny".
  5. ^ Engerman, David (2011-06-01). "California's Cold War Museum". Humanities.
  6. ^ McManis, Sam (2014-05-11). "Discoveries: Wende Museum preserves artifacts from Cold War". The Sacramento Bee.
  7. ^ You, Tracy (2014-10-03). "Where's the Berlin Wall now? 10 surprising locations". CNN.
  8. ^ Haithman, Diane (2009-08-12). "Berlin Wall's fall will be memorialized across Wilshire".
  9. ^ "Jeremy Deller (1966)". 2013.
  10. ^ Jampol, Justinian (2014-03-03). "Smashing Lenin Won't Save Ukraine".
  11. ^ "Best of 2014: Our Top 10 Exhibitions Across the United States". 2014.
  12. ^ "Communism Never Looked So Groovy". 2015.
  13. ^ Welch, David (2014-12-05). "'DDR Posters' and 'Beyond the Wall'".
  14. ^ Bradner, Liesel (2014-11-10). "Culver City's Cold War museum remembers the Berlin Wall's fall".
  15. ^ "To see the Cold War, come to California". 2015.
  16. ^ "The Wall is Still Tumbling Down". UCLA Magazine. 2015.
  17. ^ "IMDB - Justinian Jampol". 2015.