Friday, October 17, 2008

A Truly Bad Art Museum in Dedham, MA

Article and photos by Eric H.

The Museum of Bad Art (MOBA) in Dedham, MA, certainly doesn't practice any false advertising when stating its mission: "Art too bad to be ignored."

Located in a dingy basement in the Dedham Community Theater just outside the restroom, this community-based, private institution founded in 1993 is "dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art in all its forms and in all its glory," as stated on the MOBA Web Site. MOBA even sells a book of its bad art, as well as producing a newsletter!

Most of the art work, created by unknown amateurs, has been retrieved from dusty attics, thrift stores, yard sales and trash cans. I recently took a very brief tour of the museum, silently gasping in horror at some of the horrific art work. With no staff present for my 10-minute visit, the most stunningly putrid piece of art work I saw was "On the Shore at Sunset." The description reads, "'Two bathers' frantic calls for help go unnoticed as another life and death drama unfolds between the identically colored crab and cat. The artist added real sand into the paint to give the beach a realistic texture and to indicate that the surf was dangerously rough."

Leaving the Dedham Community Theater nauseated from the art work and subtle basement mold smell, I decided that I would never again return to this weird New England travel attraction but that night I changed mind. Who knows, I thought, maybe there will be a rotation of even worse art work. That would be worth a return visit indeed!

The Museum of Bad Art
Basement of Dedham Communitiy Theatre
580 High St.
Dedham MA
Tel. 781-444-6757

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