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Cultural Curiosities: The Museum of Bad Art

With a carefully curated collection of artistic mishaps, the Museum of Bad Art (MOBA) may be the world's best monument to artistic failure, and possibly my favorite overlooked "museum" in the world.

While we've all sketched a spiky-haired stick figure or cringed at the yet-uncoordinated drawings in a kindergarten classroom, the museum of Bad Art's failures are more sophisticated. More than kitsch, the art at MOBA is skillful, usually, but for some kind of obvious failing either in intent or execution. It's a "you know it when you see it" brand of failure that's hard to explain to a newbie, but hard to miss once you're acquainted with it.

What makes MOBA special is the skillful humor of its curators, who have paired its collection with descriptions that deploy a dry-as-sandpaper wit and bemusement that can entertain for hours. Seriously, its collection is worth a visit.

MOBA has never been housed in a large classical building. Rather, it's floated around movie theater basements all across the Boston area. Because of the limitations of these spaces, only a small portion of its permanent collection is ever on physical display. The Museum is currently without a home.

Explore the collection here

Or buy the Masterworks book

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