Go to the Museum of Bad Art
At one point, a few months ago, it was thought that I was going to accompany Bianca on her cross-country move to California. We were going to drive from our home state of Massachusetts, get her settled in California, and then I’d take a plane back home. While this was still an idea, we Googled something like “fun, weird things to do in America” (see link below) and it’s there we discovered the Museum of Bad Art, or MOBA. We had never heard of it and were especially shocked to learn that it was only about two hours from us, near Boston. So I absolutely had to put this on my list.
After some research, I found out the museum has 3 different locations: Somerville Theater, Brookline Access Television, and Dedham Community Theater. It turns out the Dedham one is currently closed. I called Louise Sacco, the director of the museum and she gave me a lot of useful tips as to which museum is best to go to (she advised we go to the Somerville one, which is in a movie theater).
I brought some of my girl friends who I know would really appreciate the bad art. These friends included Bianca, Jojo (a very talented artist/art student), Nora, and Mel Willy. All of these girls are hilarious and tons of fun so I was really excited to go. We planned on going to the museum, taking the red line into Boston, and getting $20 all you can eat sushi there.
After a fun, rap-filled car ride, we found the museum and parked in a lot next to it. Very excited, we walked right in and noticed signs showing that the museum was in the basement.
So we walked downstairs and since it was a long car ride, used the restrooms.
Then we prepared ourselves for the museum, we walked down the hallway and immediately saw this:
Excited, we turned into the museum expecting to see someone who would have our passes we reserved. Instead, we saw nothing but bad art.
So naturally, we showed ourselves around, partly waiting for someone who worked there to show them our passes but mostly just because it was “too bad to be ignored”. What we saw was truly incredible. The space has a low ceiling, rolled up carpets along the sides, and a door placed in the middle of a wall with no way to get into it. Coming in and out of the hall and helping us take pictures (see the first picture in this post) was an extremely friendly carpenter who works there. Then there was the art. This art came from all over, by the artists themselves, from trash cans, from garages, from thrift shops. And it is all bad.
(I apologize in advance: I don’t remember some of the titles!)
We then went upstairs to look for the “gift shop” which was just the box office for the movie tickets. Looking around for someone we then got really excited when a man came to the window. Here is ABOUT how the dialog went:
Man (very rudely, borderline yell): What are you doing here?
Me: We just went to the museum. We were just looking for the gift shop thing.
Man (still rude): You went in without buying a pass?
Me: Well, I talked to Louise and she said she could give me passes.
Man (ruder): Well Louise isn’t even here. The lights are off here, the sign outside says “closed”, USE SOME COMMON SENSE.
Then we left.
Now. On the museum website it says the museum is open at 8 AM. We got there at around 11 so I didn’t think that was a problem. We also wondered why the friendly carpenter didn’t question our presence. It wasn’t until later when I realized Louise had emailed me the passes and told me the museum is actually open 1pm-10pm. So that was my B. I called Louise and explained the situation to her and she was so sweet about it and just seemed happy that we were able to see the art. But, that man working at the movie theater made me feel REALLY upset for a while. I’ve never been treated so poorly by a stranger in my life. IF YOU GO TO THE SOMERVILLE MUSEUM OF BAD ART, AVOID THIS MAN! Or just go to the museum when it’s open. 😀
We then had a little snack at a cafe, went to a pawn shop and a Goodwill, and walked around Somerville for a bit.
We then ventured off to Boston and after a failed attempt to find parking in Chinatown (we decided against the T), went to South Boston.
And had an early dinner at Local 149. SO good:
The MOBA was really cool and had a lot of awesome stuff in it. If you want to visit, make sure you double-check when it’s open since the times are wrong on the website. It’s totally fun if you want to laugh with your friends but I wouldn’t suggest it for young children due to the noodz. Avoid the man at the movie theater ticket booth and you should be good. We had a blast and this is definitely something I would want to do again, but I’d like to go to their other locations.
For more information on the MOBA:
Mel Willy: @msmelwilly
- Looking for a different exhibition experience? Visit the Museum of Bad Art (leoddblog.wordpress.com)
- Roadtrip: America’s Best Roadside Attractions (local.answers.com) [I think this is how I just found the museum]
- Museum Of Bad Art Exhibit Premiere (patriotledger.com)