Tourist Attractions

Breakups, sex & abused paintbrushes: exhibits at world's weirdest museums

Three bizarre museums to add to your bucket list

10 September 2017 - 02:29 By Elizabeth Sleith
This till slip is one of many offbeat exhibits at The Museum of Broken Relationships.
This till slip is one of many offbeat exhibits at The Museum of Broken Relationships.
Image: Fashionablyfrank.com

1. MUSEUM OF BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS

If museums had theme songs, then Whitney Houston's Where do Broken Hearts Go would surely be this one's.

Or rather, where do the things we gathered during our relationship go when the relationship ends?

The three branches of the Museum of Broken Relationships - in Zagreb, Los Angeles, and Singapore - have an answer for some people, ordinary folk who heeded the call to submit the relics of their loves lost - along with a description of their meaning for display in this poignant museum.

Many of the objects seem mundane on their own until you read the story.

For instance, a Frisbee sitting in a glass case is entitled Stupid Frisbee, from someone in Belgrade, Serbia.

The note says: "A stupid Frisbee, bought in a thrift store, was my ex-boyfriend's brilliant idea for a second anniversary gift. The moral was obviously that he should be smacked with it the next time he gets such a fantastic idea. Darling, should you ever get the ridiculous idea to walk into a cultural institution for the first time in your life, you will remember me."

One of the works in the Museum of Sex's 'NSFW: Female Gaze' exhibit.
One of the works in the Museum of Sex's 'NSFW: Female Gaze' exhibit.
Image: Museumofsex.com

2. MOSEX - THE MUSEUM OF SEX

New York Magazine once likened this NYC attraction to "a Willy Wonka sex dream".

The Museum of Sex opened on Fifth Avenue in 2002, with the lofty mission to "preserve and present the history, evolution and cultural significance of human sexuality".

It has so far generated over 30 exhibitions, each aimed at rejecting censorship and advocating open discourse around sex.

The permanent collection consists of more than 20,000 artifacts such as artworks, photography, clothing and costumes, technology and historical ephemera, which the museum says would otherwise be destroyed due to their sexual content.

One current exhibition is NSFW: Female Gaze, which features the work of 25 female artists who confront how their sex is faced daily with a world of images that reflect male desire.

Important stuff, but it's also highly likely that many people go just for the chance to leap about on Jump for Joy, a jumping castle built to resemble mountains of breasts.

'Gina's Demons' is a taste of the 'disasterpieces' you'll see on show at the Museum of Bad Art.
'Gina's Demons' is a taste of the 'disasterpieces' you'll see on show at the Museum of Bad Art.
Image: Museumofbadart.org

3. MOBA -  MUSEUM OF BAD ART

The three branches of the Museum of Bad Art are all in the Boston, Massachusetts, area and claim to be the world's only museums dedicated to the preservation, exhibition and celebration of "disasterpieces" - that is, bad works of genius.

Interestingly, it's not easy to get your work displayed in Moba. The museum is extremely carefully curated and, as the museum explains, "something about each work must set it apart from the merely incompetent".

It also has a regular "interpretator" competition, in which visitors get to pontificate "critic style" about the meaning of the works.

For instance, the piece titled Gina's Demons (pictured) by an artist identified only as "Gina" and filed under the section "Noods", is a 28" x 20", oil on canvas and is "interpretated" thus:

"Frightening, non-kosher demons haunt this blonde, blue-eyed beauty in a see-through blouse. Her world is cracking apart at the edges, but her careful hairdo and makeup show us that she knows it's important to keep up appearances."


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