Monday, January 30, 2017

Welcome to the Museum of Bad Art!

Yes, it's a real thing! The Museum of Bad Art is available for viewing in three galleries in/near Boston.   They are located at:
This past weekend, my husband and I visited our son who lives in Somerville, and we noted that one of the galleries was located there. (Somerville - where Tufts University is located - is basically one of the communities that ring Boston, as is Brookline, where another of the galleries is located.  These communities feel like a part of Boston!) 
The gallery we visited is in the basement of the Somerville Theater (in walking distance from my son's home!) and is open to ticketed movie goers whenever the theater is open.  We were at the theater to see the movie Lion (I highly recommend it), and came early so that we could visit the museum for our first time.   Here's a bit about the museum and it's philosophy, which is all very much in tongue-in-cheek fun.  And by the way, if you stick with this post till the end, you'll see what I thought was the craziest piece on display in the museum!
The museum has over 600 pieces, but only about 20-40 are on view at each location at any given time, so presumably, you could return several times to see different parts of the collection. On display when we were there were "Dopplehangers" - Selected works from the POOR-TRAITS Collection that resemble, intentionally or not, famous people.  For example, below we have "Pablo Presley"

Please note, the quality of the photos in this post are as bad as the artwork.  It's a basement, the lighting is awful, and the space made it hard to photograph many of paintings straight-on.  And there was a rolling ladder thingy in front of one of the paintings.  Anyhow, here's what the gallery actually looks like:
Yup, like I said, it's a basement.  That's my husband, my son, and his girlfriend, above.  They are not sitting there because they are bored waiting for me; they are making dinner reservations for us, for after the movie!  Here's some pics from the collection.  Reading the tongue-in-cheek descriptions can be half the fun,  so I am including them here with the pics of some of the artwork.  
 Of course, there were bound to be paintings of Michael Jackson in a collection of bad portrait paintings (poor-traits).  [Above and below]  In the painting below, the hand is pretty hysterical, and then there's that squared-off chin...

And presidents.  Lots of presidents!  Here are a few of them.  Below, it looks like Bill Clinton has tiny hands, and perhaps has been painting some brown furniture, or burned his face on the grill while cooking burgers?
 What's so 'bad' about this portrait of President Obama below?  It's not the image of him, but the strange collection of repeating faces that surround him,including Denzel Washington and Morgan  Freeman. 

 And then there's this, below....  EEK!!

 And more singers and actors and such, and even an iconic president's wife...

These are pretty funny! 
And this:

And for the Grand Finale, here it is, the 'Torso Phone'!

 I hope you've enjoyed this little tour; It was hard to narrow down what to share with you!  Anyhow, I'll close with a closeup of a rather awkward hand.  Meanwhile,  If you are ever in Boston, instead of visiting the MFA (Museum of Fine Art), how about visiting the Museum of Bad Art instead! 


  1. Oh, my goodness! I had no idea you could visit a museum dedicated to bad art. This was hilarious! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Kind of makes me wonder about the "artists" and the circumstances in which the art was created. Thanks for sharing - made me smile. I'm off to visit MOBA's website:))

  3. I had an old CD of this collection- I wonder if I can find it?...