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Museum Of Bad Art – Somerville Massachusetts
The Museum Of Bad Art (MOBA) is a privately owned museum whose stated aim is “to celebrate the labor of artists whose work would be displayed and appreciated in no other forum”. It was originally in Dedham with current branches in Somerville, Brookline, and South Weymouth in Massachusetts.Its permanent collection includes over 700 pieces of “art too bad to be ignored”, 25 to 35 of which are on public display at any one time. MOBA was founded in 1994, after antique dealer Scott Wilson showed a painting he had recovered from the trash to some friends, who suggested starting a collection. Within a year, receptions held in Wilson’s friends’ home were so well-attended that the collection needed its own viewing space. The museum then moved to the basement of a theater in Dedham. Explaining the reasoning behind the museum’s establishment, co-founder Jerry Reilly said in 1995: “While every city in the world has at least one museum dedicated to the best of art, MOBA is the only museum dedicated to collecting and exhibiting the worst.” To be included in MOBA’s collection, works must be original and have serious intent, but they must also have significant flaws without being boring; curators are not interested in displaying deliberate kitsch.
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