Museum of Bad Art

Every major city has at least one museum dedicated to the collection and exhibition of the best of art. Massachusetts boasts the only museum devoted to collecting and exhibiting works from the other end of the spectrum, the Museum of Bad Art.

Bad art is all too often neglected, ignored or hidden away. The pieces in the MOBA collection were discovered, unearthed and rescued from various states of ignoble neglect. Many were pulled from the trash, some were purchased for spare change at yard sales, others were extracted from closets and attics and donated to the museum by generous sharp-eyed donors who were grateful that there was place of honor to hang them.

The pieces in the growing collection range from ill-fated efforts of talented artists gone awry to crude works by exuberant creators barely in control of their brushes. They all have in common a special quality that sets them apart in one way or another from the merely incompetent.

MOBA was inspired by a single painting - "Lucy in the Field with Flowers", shown above, that was pulled from a trash pile on the streets of Boston. Here is how "Lucy" has been described by MOBA visitors...

"The motion, the chair, the sway of her breast, the subtle hues of the sky, the expression on her face--every detail combines to create a transcendent and compelling portrait."

"As with all great art, extended viewing reveals endless layers of mysteries: What is Norman Mailer's head doing on an innocent grandma's body, and are those crows or F-16's skimming the hills?"

The museum is overseen by the Friends of MOBA - a loose confederation of people of all ages, backgrounds, occupations and interests who share a single passion - the collection, preservation, exhibition, and celebration of truly Bad Art.