Thunder Mountain Monument

Last updated
Thunder Mountain Monument ThunderMountainMonument.jpg
Thunder Mountain Monument

The Thunder Mountain Monument is a series of outsider art sculptures and architectural forms that were assembled by Frank Van Zant starting in 1969 upon his arrival in Imlay, Nevada; it is located on a shoulder of I-80.

Outsider art art created outside the boundaries of official culture by those untrained in the arts

Outsider art is art by self-taught or naïve art makers. Typically, those labeled as outsider artists have little or no contact with the mainstream art world or art institutions. In many cases, their work is discovered only after their deaths. Often, outsider art illustrates extreme mental states, unconventional ideas, or elaborate fantasy worlds.

Imlay, Nevada Unincorporated town in Nevada, United States

Imlay is an unincorporated town in Pershing County, Nevada, United States. It has an elementary school, a general store, a post office, and a trading post. As of the 2010 census the population was 171.

A World War II veteran from Oklahoma, Frank Van Zant had served with the 7th Armoured Division, fought in several campaigns in Europe, [1] and been badly burned in a tank battle outside Leipzig. [2] A self-identified Creek Indian, [3] he took the Native American name Rolling Mountain Thunder after experiencing an epiphany, and took on the twin but related tasks of both building shelters from the presumed coming apocalypse, and making a de facto spiritual haven for spiritual seekers of the hippie era. (There is no Thunder Mountain in the vicinity.)

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Leipzig Place in Saxony, Germany

Leipzig is the most populous city in the federal state of Saxony, Germany. With a population of 581,980 inhabitants as of 2017 it is Germany's tenth most populous city. Leipzig is located about 160 kilometres (99 mi) southwest of Berlin at the confluence of the White Elster, Pleiße and Parthe rivers at the southern end of the North German Plain.

Native Americans in the United States Indigenous peoples of the United States (except Hawaii)

Native Americans, also known as American Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, except Hawaii. There are over 500 federally recognized tribes within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations. The term "American Indian" excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaska Natives, while Native Americans are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities. Native Hawaiians are not counted as Native Americans by the US Census, instead being included in the Census grouping of "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander".

The site covers five acres on the south side of a 1,000-foot stretch of Interstate 80. There were originally seven buildings, including a three-story hostel where many hippies stayed in the 1970s. [4] Three stone and concrete buildings remain, and more than 200 concrete sculptures depicting Native Americans and their protective spirits, massacres, and injustices against them. Thunder Mountain Monument (or Park) is replete with found objects, such as car hoods, dolls' heads, typewriters, and gas pumps, many of which are incorporated into the buildings themselves; one framework forms a large handle so the Great Spirit could take the building away after Thunder's death. [5]

The site was partially destroyed by arson in 1983, [5] the same year Van Zant was named Nevada's Artist of the Year; he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head in 1989. The monument was neglected and subject to vandalism until it was declared a Nevada State Historic Site in 1992; it is now under the care of his grown children under the aegis of a State of Nevada Historic Site Restoration Project, and is partially open to the public for self-guided tours. [6] Van Zant has been the subject of two short documentaries. [7]

Related Research Articles

Lynyrd Skynyrd American rock band

Lynyrd Skynyrd is an American rock band formed in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1964 by Ronnie Van Zant (vocals), Gary Rossington (guitar), Allen Collins (guitar), Larry Junstrom and Bob Burns (drums). It is best known for popularizing the Southern rock genre during the 1970s. Originally called My Backyard, the band was also known by names such as The Noble Five and One Percent, before finally deciding on "Lynyrd Skynyrd" in 1969. The band gained worldwide recognition for its live performances and signature songs "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Free Bird". Van Zant, along with guitarist Steve Gaines, and backup singer Cassie Gaines, were killed in an airplane crash on October 20, 1977, putting an abrupt end to the 1970s era of the band.

Petroglyph pictogram and logogram images carved on a rock surface

Petroglyphs are images created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, picking, carving, or abrading, as a form of rock art. Outside North America, scholars often use terms such as "carving", "engraving", or other descriptions of the technique to refer to such images. Petroglyphs are found worldwide, and are often associated with prehistoric peoples. The word comes from the Greek prefix petro-, from πέτρα petra meaning "stone", and γλύφω glýphō meaning "to carve", and was originally coined in French as pétroglyphe.

Ronnie Van Zant American singer and songwriter

Ronald Wayne Van Zant was an American lead vocalist, singer, primary lyricist, and founding member of the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. He was the older brother of two other rock vocalists: current Lynyrd Skynyrd lead vocalist Johnny Van Zant, and Donnie Van Zant, the founder and vocalist of 38 Special. He was the father of Tammy Van Zant and Melody Van Zant.

Sweet Home Alabama 1974 single by Lynyrd Skynyrd

"Sweet Home Alabama" is a song by Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd that first appeared in 1974 on their second album, Second Helping.

Michael Heizer is a contemporary artist specializing in large-scale and site-specific sculptures. Working largely outside the confines of the traditional art spaces of galleries and museums, Heizer has redefined sculpture in terms of size, mass, gesture, and process. A pioneer of 20th century Land Art, he is widely recognized for sculptures and earthworks made with earth-moving equipment, which he began creating in the American West in 1967. He currently lives and works in Hiko, Nevada and New York City.

Free Bird 1974 single by Lynyrd Skynyrd

"Free Bird", or "Freebird", is a power ballad performed by American rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. The song was first featured on the band's debut album in 1973 and has been included on subsequent albums, including the unfaded-ending version of the original recording.

Sequoia National Forest

Sequoia National Forest is located in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains of California. The U.S. National Forest is named for the majestic Giant Sequoia trees which populate 38 distinct groves within the boundaries of the forest.

Goetheanum world center for the anthroposophical movement, including performance halls, in Dornach, Switzerland

The Goetheanum, located in Dornach, Switzerland, is the world center for the anthroposophical movement. The building was designed by Rudolf Steiner and named after Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It includes two performance halls, gallery and lecture spaces, a library, a bookstore, and administrative spaces for the Anthroposophical Society; neighboring buildings house the society's research and educational facilities. Conferences focusing on themes of general interest or directed toward teachers, farmers, doctors, therapists, and other professionals are held at the center throughout the year.

Jean, Nevada Unincorporated community in Nevada, United States

Jean is a small commercial town in Clark County, Nevada, located approximately 12 mi (19 km) north of the Nevada-California state line along Interstate 15. Las Vegas is located about 30 mi (48 km) to the north. There are no residents of Jean, but many people in nearby communities like Primm and Sandy Valley have Jean listed in their mailing address because it is the location of the main post office for the 89019 ZIP code. Las Vegas Boulevard South ends about 2 mi (3.2 km) south of Jean, and it contiguously runs northbound past Las Vegas, ending near the I-15-US 93 Junction.

Van Zant

Van Zant is an American musical duo composed of brothers Donnie Van Zant and Johnny Van Zant. Both are brothers of the late Ronnie Van Zant, former lead singer for the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. Johnny became the lead vocalist for the reunited Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1987, and Donnie was also the leader and vocalist of .38 Special.

<i>One More from the Road</i> 1976 live album by Lynyrd Skynyrd

One More from the Road is a live album by Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, capturing three shows recorded in July 1976, at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia. Since 1974, Lynyrd Skynyrd had supported rock promoter Alex Cooley so that the Fox Theatre was saved from demolition. This record was the band's first live album, and the only live album from the band's classic era of 1970 to 1977 prior to the plane crash that killed lead singer and songwriter Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, and Cassie Gaines. The album was released in September 1976. It was certified gold on October 26, 1976, platinum on December 30, 1976 and 3x platinum on July 21, 1987 by the RIAA.

Igael Tumarkin sculptor

Igael Tumarkin is an Israeli painter and sculptor.

The Spirit Cave mummy is the oldest human mummy found in North America. It was discovered in 1940 in Spirit Cave, 13 miles (21 km) east of Fallon, Nevada by the husband-and-wife archaeological team of Sydney and Georgia Wheeler.

<i>Twenty</i> (Lynyrd Skynyrd album) 1997 studio album by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Twenty is the ninth studio album by Lynyrd Skynyrd released in 1997. The title of the album refers to the fact that it had been twenty years since the plane crash which killed original lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, and backup singer Cassie Gaines.

<i>Skynyrds First and... Last</i> 1978 compilation album by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Skynyrd's First and...Last was the original name of the posthumous compilation album first released in 1978 by the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. The original 1978 version of the album is now out of print. In 1998, it was repackaged, renamed and re-released as Skynyrd's First: The Complete Muscle Shoals Album, which was expanded to include eight additional tracks – four of which were previously unreleased and four which would appear on (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd). As the renamed title suggests, the album was recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama. This album was originally planned to be their debut album before getting shelved, making (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd) their actual debut. The album was certified Gold on 9/8/78 and Platinum on 11/10/78 by the RIAA.

<i>Legend</i> (Lynyrd Skynyrd album) 1987 compilation album by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Legend was a posthumous compilation album of unreleased material by American Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, which contained previously unreleased demos from the albums before the 1977 plane crash. However, the vast majority of tracks on Legend are now available on other albums. The album was certified Gold on July 27, 2001 by the RIAA.

<i>Lyve from Steel Town</i> 1998 live album by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lyve from Steel Town was a live album by the "post-crash" lineup of Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. This live album has two discs, the last two tracks on the second disc are exclusive interviews with the band. The concert was also released as a live VHS and DVD. The tracks were recorded at Star Lake Amphitheatre in Burgettstown, PA, July 15, 1997. The album was certified Gold on June 26, 2001 by the RIAA.

Liberty Park

Liberty Park is a one-acre (4,000 m2) elevated public park at the World Trade Center in New York City, overlooking the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. It is located above the Vehicular Security Center and opened on June 29, 2016. The St. Nicholas National Shrine is located within the park, as well as The Sphere, the iconic sculpture salvaged from the World Trade Center site. Another statue, America's Response Monument, is also located in the park.

UFC Fight Night: Namajunas vs. VanZant UFC mixed martial arts event in 2015

UFC Fight Night: Namajunas vs. VanZant was a mixed martial arts event held on December 10, 2015, at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada.

References

  1. Menzies, Richard. "Background". Thunder Mountain. Retrieved 2016-02-15.
  2. "Imlay and Mill City, Nevada: History and Description". Nevadaweb.com. Retrieved 2011-12-26.
  3. "Thunder Mountain Park, Imlay, Nevada". Roadsideamerica.com. Retrieved 2011-12-26.
  4. "Frank Van Zant (Chief Rolling Mountain Thunder), Thunder Mountain Monument". Spaces. Retrieved 2016-02-15.
  5. 1 2 Ohlson, Kristin (April 8, 2010). "The Story of Thunder Mountain Monument". Smithsonian .
  6. "Thunder Mountain Monument". Agilitynut.com. Retrieved 2011-12-26.
  7. "Chief Rolling Mountain Thunder". Spyrock.com. Retrieved 2011-12-26.

Coordinates: 40°39′36″N118°08′01″W / 40.66004°N 118.1335032°W / 40.66004; -118.1335032

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.