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Article:Museum of Bad Art
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MOBA has been mentioned in dozens of off-the-beaten-path guides to [[Boston, Massachusetts|Boston]], featured in international newspapers and magazines, and has inspired several other collections throughout the world that set out to rival its own visual atrocities. [[Deborah Solomon]] of ''[[The New York Times Magazine]]'' noted that the attention the Museum of Bad Art receives is part of a wider trend of museums displaying "the best bad art".<ref name="solomon">Solomon, Deborah. "[http://www.nytimes.com/1999/01/24/magazine/in-praise-of-bad-art.html In Praise of Bad Art]". ''[[The New York Times]]'', January 24, 1999 <!--Retrieved on March 2, 2009--></ref> The museum has been criticized for being anti-art, but the founders deny this, responding that its collection is a tribute to the sincerity of the artists who persevered with their art despite something going horribly wrong in the process. According to co-founder Marie Jackson, "We are here to celebrate an artist's right to fail, gloriously."<ref name="irishtimes">"[http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/features/1999/0918/99091800051.html The Gallery of the Garish Masterpieces of Bad Art]". ''[[The Irish Times]]'', September 18, 1999. 9</ref>
 
MOBA has been mentioned in dozens of off-the-beaten-path guides to [[Boston, Massachusetts|Boston]], featured in international newspapers and magazines, and has inspired several other collections throughout the world that set out to rival its own visual atrocities. [[Deborah Solomon]] of ''[[The New York Times Magazine]]'' noted that the attention the Museum of Bad Art receives is part of a wider trend of museums displaying "the best bad art".<ref name="solomon">Solomon, Deborah. "[http://www.nytimes.com/1999/01/24/magazine/in-praise-of-bad-art.html In Praise of Bad Art]". ''[[The New York Times]]'', January 24, 1999 <!--Retrieved on March 2, 2009--></ref> The museum has been criticized for being anti-art, but the founders deny this, responding that its collection is a tribute to the sincerity of the artists who persevered with their art despite something going horribly wrong in the process. According to co-founder Marie Jackson, "We are here to celebrate an artist's right to fail, gloriously."<ref name="irishtimes">"[http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/features/1999/0918/99091800051.html The Gallery of the Garish Masterpieces of Bad Art]". ''[[The Irish Times]]'', September 18, 1999. 9</ref>
   
==History==
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[[File:Lucyflowers.jpg|thumb|200 px|upright|alt=Painting of an elderly woman wearing a blue dress, orthopedic shoes, and "cat-eye" glasses seated in a red armchair in a lush field of white flowers; both are windswept. In the distance is a garish yellow sky|''Lucy in the Field with Flowers'' (in original frame), the first of MOBA's collection, which inspired a museum "dedicated to the collection, preservation, and exhibition of really awful artwork"<ref>Nobel, Carmen. [http://www.boston.com/ae/theater_arts/articles/2007/11/26/baby_drew_a_bad_bad_thing/ "Baby Drew a Bad, Bad Thing"]. ''[[The Boston Globe]]'', November 26, 2007. SID3</ref>]]
 
 
The Museum of Bad Art was established in 1994 by antique dealer Scott Wilson, who discovered what has become the museum's signature piece—''Lucy in the Field with Flowers''—protruding from between two trash cans on a [[Roslindale, Massachusetts|Roslindale]]-area curb in Boston, among some garbage waiting to be collected. Wilson was initially interested only in the frame, but when he showed the picture to his friend Jerry Reilly, Reilly wanted both the frame and the painting. He exhibited ''Lucy'' in his home, and encouraged friends to look for other bad art and notify Wilson of what they found.<ref name="gaines">Gaines, Judith. [http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-7775472.html "Exhibiting Works of Trial and Error: Museum Finds Landscapes Gone Awry"]. ''The Boston Globe'', May 4, 2003. 9</ref> When Wilson acquired another "equally lovely" piece and shared it with Reilly, they decided to start a collection. Reilly and his wife, Marie Jackson, held a party in their basement to exhibit the collection to date, and hosted a reception they facetiously titled "The Opening of the Museum of Bad Art".<ref name="english07">English, Bella. [http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/04/29/high_standards_for_low_art/?rss_id=Boston%20Globe%20--%20Globe%20South "High Standards for Low Art"]. ''The Boston Globe'', April 29, 2007. Reg7</ref>
 
 
Regular showings of the pieces collected by Wilson, Reilly, and Jackson (and those donated by others), became too much for Reilly and Jackson's small home in [[West Roxbury, Massachusetts]], as hundreds of people attended the receptions.<ref>{{cite web |author=Frauenfelder, Mark |title=Canvas Catastrophes |date=July 1995 |work= |publisher=[[Wired (magazine)|Wired Magazine]] |url=http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/3.07/scans.html?pg=5}}</ref> The founders initial attempt at dealing with their constrained exhibition space was to create the Virtual Museum of Bad Art, a CD-ROM with a cast of 95 people that presented the MOBA art collection in a fictional imaginary museum.<ref>http://cool.conservation-us.org/waac/wn/wn18/wn18-1/wn18-113.html MOBS CD-ROM</ref> This fictional MOBA allowed the visitors to not only view the paintings but to go behind the scenes in the fictional museum to see what was happening in the back offices, the restoration shop, the rest rooms etc.
 
 
Word of the museum's collection continued to spread until, according to "Permanent Interim Acting Director" Louise Reilly Sacco, "it got completely out of hand" when a group of senior citizens on a tour bus stopped to see it.<ref name="gaines"/> In 1995 the display space was moved to the basement of the Dedham Community Theatre, a building with an aesthetic described in 2004 as "ramshackle".<ref>{{harvnb|Citro|Foulds|2004|p=114}}</ref> The museum in Dedham has no fixed operating hours, instead being open while the theater upstairs is open.<ref>[http://www.foodandwine.com/thingtodo/museum/museum-of-bad-art Museum of Bad Art]". ''[[Food & Wine Magazine]]'', October 2008 <!--Retrieved on March 3, 2009--></ref> As the ''[[Boston Globe]]'' notes, the art collection is appropriately placed "just outside the men's room",<ref name="english">English, Bella. "[http://www.boston.com/yourtown/newton/articles/2009/02/08/doing_a_good_deed_with_bad_art/ Doing a Good Deed with Bad Art]". ''The Boston Globe'', February 8, 2009. Reg1</ref> where sounds and smells carry to the collection and the constant flushing of the toilet "supposedly helps maintain a uniform humidity", according to the ''[[South China Morning Post]]''.<ref name="wilson">Wilson, David, "It May Be Art, But They Sure Ain't No Oil Paintings". ''[[South China Morning Post]]'', May 17, 2004. 5</ref>
 
 
In MOBA's early days, the museum hosted traveling shows; on one occasion the works were hung from trees in the woods on [[Cape Cod]] for the "Art Goes Out the Window — The Gallery in the Woods". [[Aesthetics of music#Bad music|Bad music]] was played during the public viewings to complete the ambience. In an exhibition titled "Awash in Bad Art", 18 pieces of art were covered in shrink wrap for "the world's first drive-thru museum and car wash". Marie Jackson, formerly the Director of Aesthetic Interpretation noted, "We didn't put any watercolors in there."<ref name="irishtimes"/> A 2001 exhibition, "Buck Naked — Nothing But Nudes" featured all of the MOBA nudes hung in a local spa.
 
 
MOBA features its works in rotating collections. In 2003, "Freaks of Nature" focused on landscape artwork "gone awry". A 2006 exhibit titled "Hackneyed Portraits" was designed to "pick up some of the slack" when the [[David Hockney]] show at Boston's [[Museum of Fine Arts, Boston|Museum of Fine Arts]] closed.<ref name="johnson">Johnson, Carolyn. [http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2006/06/25/dedham_museum_is_proud_home_to_unforgettable_art_thats_anything_but_fine/ "So Bad It's Good: Dedham Museum Is Proud Home to Unforgettable Art That's Anything But Fine"]. ''The Boston Globe'', June 25, 2006. 1</ref> MOBA unveiled its show "Nature Abhors a Vacuum and All Other Housework" in 2006; this format continues on the museum's website.
 
 
A second gallery opened in 2008 at the [[Somerville Theatre]] in [[Davis Square]], [[Somerville, Massachusetts]], where the collection was placed near both the women's and men's restrooms.<ref>Smykus, Ed. "[http://www.wickedlocal.com/somerville/archive/x1658008848 Museum of Bad Art Will Open Second Branch at the Somerville Theater"]. ''Wicked Local'', May 5, 2008 <!-- Retrieved on March 2, 2009--></ref> Although the original gallery is free and open to the public, the second is only free with admission to the theater.<ref>"[http://www.somervilletheatreonline.com/somerville/theatre/index.php General Info]". [[Somerville Theatre]]. Retrieved on March 3, 2009.</ref> Exhibitions titled "Bright Colors / Dark Emotions" and "Know What You Like / Paint How You Feel" have been held in the academic gallery at [[Montserrat College of Art]] in [[Beverly, Massachusetts]].<ref>Garcia-Fenech, Giovanni. "[http://www.artnet.com/Magazine/reviews/garcia-fenech/garcia-fenech2-18-99.asp Bad Art Bonanza]". [[New York]]: [[artnet]] Worldwide, 2009. Retrieved on March 4, 2009.</ref> One of MOBA's goals is "to take bad art on the road", according to Sacco.<ref name="veryvery">Gray-Blanc, Elena. "[http://www.independent.com/news/2008/sep/20/good-bad-and-very-very-ugly/ The Good, the Bad… and the Very, Very Ugly — The Museum of Bad Art: A Worthwhile Stop on the World Weird Web]". ''[[Santa Barbara Independent]]'', September 20, 2008 <!--Retrieved on March 7, 2009--></ref> Pieces from MOBA's collection have been on display in museums in [[Virginia]], [[Ottawa]], and [[New York]].<ref name="goldberg">Goldberg, Carey. [http://www.nytimes.com/1998/10/14/arts/arts-in-america-art-so-bad-a-museum-in-boston-relishes-it.html "Arts In America: Art So Bad a Museum in Boston Relishes It"]. ''The New York Times'', October 14, 1998. E2</ref>
 
 
In February 2009, MOBA announced a fundraiser to assist the [[Rose Art Museum]] at [[Brandeis University]], which was seriously considering whether to sell masterpieces because of the [[global financial crisis of 2008–2009]], made worse for the university by some of its donors' losing money in [[Madoff investment scandal|Bernard Madoff's investment scheme]]. Current MOBA curator and [[Balloon modelling|balloon artist]]/musician Michael Frank placed ''Studies in Digestion''—a four-panel piece showing four renditions of the human digestive tract in various media by artist Deborah Grumet—on [[eBay]] for a buy-it-now price of $10,000; the first bid was $24.99.<ref name="english"/> It eventually sold for $152.53 and the meager proceeds went to the Rose Art Museum, while both museums gained publicity.<ref>Bolton, Morgan Michele. "[http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2009/02/15/bad_art_sells_for_good_cause/ 'Bad' Art Sells for Good Cause]". ''The Boston Globe'', February 15, 2009 <!--Retrieved March 4, 2009--></ref>
 
   
 
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