A lot of people think museums are boring. They’re filled with all that old stuff and if you want to know what something is, then you have to read. Boring! So for those looking for an alternative to the same old “history lesson in a building” that comes from most traditional museum visits, I offer these five fun, weird and wacky museums.
1. The Museum of Bad Art – Located in Dedham Square just outside of Boston, this is a shrine to all things hackneyed and misguided in the world of art. Stressing that its not about incompetence, the museum’s website notes that their collection is “from the work of talented artists that have gone awry to works of exuberant, although crude, execution by artists barely in control of the brush.” MOBA is worth the trip.
2. The International UFO Museum and Research Center – Dangerously close to mainstream, this exploration of UFO sightings and cover-ups in Roswell, New Mexico is the premier UFO museum on the planet. It is quite likely that the visitors to this museum are a greater oddity than the exhibits themselves.
3. The Corn Palace – Art, History and Corn merge in this South Dakota tribute to all things “corn.” The Corn Palace is covered with murals made from corn that change each year. Learn how corn grows and enjoy a free guided tour explaining the process that goes into creating these one-of-a-kind corn murals.
4. Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia – Yep. A Pez Museum. See the Guinness World Record Holding – Snowman Pez dispenser, largest in the world at nearly 8 feet tall. A must for those with a Pez obsession.
5. The Historical Torture Museum – On exhibit in San Francisco, this museum explores the various instruments of torture used throughout man’s existence. Learn more than you’d ever want to know about the Iron Maiden, the garotte, Inquisitonal Chairs, Heretic Forks and Branks.
Honorable Mention: The National Museum of Health and Medicine – I sense a cover-up here. The name sounds incredibly boring and the website tries to fool you with this dry description…The Museum houses a collection of over 24 million items including archival materials, anatomical and pathological specimens, medical instruments and artifacts, and microscope slide-based medical research collections.
What they should be saying is…See deformed fetuses, birth defects, chunks of Abraham Lincoln’s skull and more morbid anatomical oddities. That’s what’s really in this museum.