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The Real "Last Supper" Was in a Ghost Town Called Rhyolite - Running with Wolves
In Nevada/ Places to see

The Real “Last Supper” Was in a Ghost Town Called Rhyolite

July 27, 2016
The Last Supper (Albert Szukalski, 1984) (Rhyolite, NV)

The ghost town that is Rhyolite is one of the reasons why I love Death Valley.  So weird.  Such intrigue!

…Because ghostly figures randomly placed in the middle of nowhere are nothing to be trifled with.


Rhyolite, Nevada


Outskirts of Death Valley National Park, Highway 374


Well-preserved ghost town, crazy art installations that make little sense for the area (but a lot of sense in the grander scheme of things), spooky and odd


Goldwell Open Air Museum, The Last Supper (art installation), Cook Bank


California-Nevada road trip, Death Valley National Park side trip (if you have a higher clearance vehicle, this is best done by seeing Titus Canyon on your way back)


•  Goldwell Museum

•  NPS

Pulling into Rhyolite was expectedly weird.  Thankfully, we arrived just as an obscenely large tour group was finishing up.  Despite its presumed desolation, it’s a favorite stop for folks spending time at Death Valley or just passing through.

The Last Supper (Albert Szukalski, 1984) (Rhyolite, NV)
The Last Supper (Albert Szukalski, 1984)

…Or 13 Nazgûl all dressed in white?  The Last Supper sculpture was my main reason for wanting to visit Rhyolite, and it did not disappoint.  It’s weird, makes little sense and then starts making sense after you notice the visual contrast with the surrounding environment.  It is, by far, Albert Szukalski’s masterpiece.

Mr. Szukalski visited Beatty, a nearby town on his visit to Northern California.  Coming from a prestigious arts academy in Belgium, he discovered artistic freedom in the harsh, blank-slated environment.  He traveled to nearby Beatty several times and befriended the locals, who eventually posed for him when he created the statue.  He eventually drew more artists who created a handful of other pieces you can see around Rhyolite. Together, the art installations and ghost town history make Rhyolite a unique place to see on any road trip.

Needless to say, The Last Supper is Rhyolite’s claim to fame.

Rhyolite is considered the entry point into Death Valley National Park from the east.  The fact that The Last Supper is the unofficial mascot of said entry point makes sense.  The death connotation is pretty evident when you break it down.  Yay, death!

As we were pass through, the short lifespan of Rhyolite was evident.  The small town was alive and kicking for less than 15 years.  It boomed during the gold rush in the surrounding area, but as that died out, so did the town.  The Cook Bank building is the main attraction among the crumbling remnants, but there’s also a bottle house (used in a lot of films) which I missed.

Icara (Dre Peters, 1992) and - in background - Tribute to Shorty Harris (Fred Bervoets, 1994) - Rhyolite, NV
Icara (Dre Peters, 1992) and - in background - Tribute to Shorty Harris (Fred Bervoets, 1994)
Ghost Rider (Albert Szukalski, 1984) (Rhyolite, NV)
Ghost Rider (Albert Szukalski, 1984)
Goldwell Open Air Museum (Visitor Center) (Rhyolite, NV)
Goldwell Open Air Museum (Visitor Center)
More art, not sure by whom (Rhyolite, NV)
More art, not sure by whom
Sit here! (Sofie Siegmann, 2000) (Rhyolite, NV)
Sit here! (Sofie Siegmann, 2000)
Cook Bank (front) (Rhyolite, NV)
Cook Bank (front)
Cook Bank (back) (Rhyolite, NV)
Cook Bank (back)
Cook Bank (front front) (Rhyolite, NV)
Cook Bank (front front)
Lady Desert: The Venus of Nevada (Dr. Hugo Heyrman, 1992) (Rhyolite, NV) (Photo by Harley Williams)
Lady Desert: The Venus of Nevada (Dr. Hugo Heyrman, 1992) (Photo by Harley Williams)


  • Reply
    July 31, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Rhyolite looks super eerie. More people should whack strange art out in the middle of the desert.

    • Reply
      July 31, 2016 at 6:08 pm

      Yes it was! And I agree. It would be creepy to pass through at night…

  • Reply
    October 6, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    Oh my gosh, this is a must see for me now!! It’s so weird and strange yet the pictures are so beautiful! I really want a picture with this ghost rider statue!

  • Reply
    October 8, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    What a great idea placing all this random art!! This place looks amazing and creepy at the same time and I’m super excited that it’s not too far from me!!!!

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