There are a very large number of art museums around the world, an estimated 55,000 to be exact, but the most unusual is almost definitely the Museum of Bad Art (MOBA).
The Museum of Bad Art, by their own account, is the world’s first and foremost museum dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art.
In 1994, antique dealer Scott Wilson found a painting in the trash and showed it to his friends. The idea sparked of starting an entire collection, and within the year, MOBA was formed.
Over time, the collection of bad art expanded via other dumpster dives, small purchases and donations. After growing too large for the basement of cofounder Jerry Reilly’s home, they upgraded to the basement of the Dedham Community Theater. The art collection was located right outside the men’s restroom.
MOBA mostly existed in traveling shows, hanging art from trees or inside of a functioning car wash (after being wrapped in shrink wrap for protection).
Soon, two more locations and collections were opened in the Massachusetts area. They now have over 700 works of bad art in their permanent collection, displaying about 50 at a time.
What Counts As Bad Art?
Even at the Museum of Bad Art, they won’t take any random painting. In fact, MOBA is quoted on saying “nine out of ten pieces don’t get in because they’re not bad enough”.
The most important factor in the artwork is that is must have been made with intentions of creating a good piece of art, or at the very least a strong artistic statement.
The pieces of art must not be boring, must be sincere, and most of the pieces have simply had the execution of their artist’s original intentions go horribly wrong.
You Can Add Your Bad Art to MOBA Today!
The museum takes unsolicited submissions, but only if they meet their standards. Art is widely up to interpretation of the viewer, however they are looking for pieces with intense emotion, creativity, and something that will make you say “Oh my God…”.
The museum’s viewpoint is that they capture a niche previously ignored by the art community. They are not anti-art nor making fun of art, but instead celebrating and appreciating a very different art form than any other museum. Where else could art that goes wrong be featured in an exhibition?
How Can I Visit?
Want to check out the Museum of Bad Art? Their main gallery is currently in the Boston area, specifically in the basement of the Somerville Theater, Davis Square, Somerville. They also have a large and growing Facebook page with over 62,000 likes.
The museum will offer a nice change of pace from traditional museums. After all, art is so open to interpretation and opinion that you may genuinely enjoy many of the pieces hanging outside the bathroom at the Museum of Bad Art!