The Mµseum (pronounced mew-zee-um) is too small to have a real address. In fact, at only eight inches deep and sixteen inches wide, this New England art installation is dwarfed by the “We Bake Our Own Bread” sign glaring from the Subway sandwich shop next door.
The self-proclaimed “smallest museum in the world” is the culmination of three years of work for head curator Judith Klausner. “I’ve always been attracted to small,” Klausner told Boston’s local NPR radio station. “With a small piece of work, your attention is pretty inherently intimate because you’re getting into its space and it’s getting into your space.” Klausner, a local Somerville artist, has always had a passion for the small and the overlooked. From her website: “I hope to change the way people see the small and often disregarded ephemera of life.” Klausner inserted the Greek letter “µ,” a symbol which represents the scientific figure “micro,” into the museum’s name as a visual pun.
In 2010, Klausner noticed an alarming irregularity in the New England art community. Despite Boston’s having the second-highest number of artists per capita of any city in the United States, art institutions in the greater Boston area were not showing exhibits from New England artists. The Mµseum’s first exhibit, “Invisible Cities,” contains pieces from local artists that speak to life in the urban environment and will run from August 15th, 2013 to October 11th, 2013.
While The Mµseum may seem like an art gimmick, to Klausner, it is something far more important. By placing this gallery in an unused alley in a public square, she hopes to take fine art out of the basketball-court-sized institutions that can be so intimidating and give it back to the cities and the people who often find art inaccessible.
While you may not be able to devote a quiet afternoon to roaming the whisper-quiet, white porcelain halls of this tiny art institution, the Mµseum offers New England artists the opportunity to display fine art in a novel and accessible gallery while integrating art into the everyday lives of passersby.
Update May 2021: Most of the items are no longer visible.
Know Before You Go
Squeezed between The Independent and a Subway sandwich shop in Union Square.