Museum of Bad Art – Somerville, Massachusetts - Atlas Obscura

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Museum of Bad Art

Museum dedicated to awful artwork. 


Originally underneath the Dedham Community Theater, this little gem of an art gallery has since 1994 sought to preserve horrible artwork. Known as MOBA (the Museum of Bad Art), the collection started one night when founder Scott Wilson pulled the first piece, dubbed Lucy in the Field with Flowers, out of a trash heap. Since then, the collection has grown to fill multiple galleries with numerous horrific works.

Unfortunately, bad art by its nature is often unappreciated and the Museum has been forced to relocate more than once. The original Dedham gallery closed in 2008, the Brookline cable access television station unexpectedly evicted their branch, and the lobby of the New England Wildlife Center in South Weymouth now features more conventionally appreciated artwork. Now, the basement of the Somerville Theater has been put to other use, so MOBA is focused on presenting virtual Curator Talks via Zoom and in organizing visiting exhibitions.

The Atlas Obscura Podcast is a short, daily celebration of all the world’s strange and wondrous places. Check out this episode about the Museum of Bad Art.

Update as of January 2022: The museum is closed indefinitely 

Know Before You Go

As of mid-2019, MOBA no longer exhibits in the Somerville Theatre basement and is seeking new exhibition space(s). Watch their website for updates.

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