Priceless works of art and important cultural artifacts are great, but where are the institutions dedicated to our most cherished celebrities with the first name Art?
There are so many museums dedicated to various art movements and histories that you can scarcely keep track of them all. But where are the museums dedicated to the obscure? The things that didn’t exist but wouldn’t it be super neat if they did? Where are the museums that are just elaborate, large-scale puns? Nowhere—yet. Here’s a glimpse at the museums that could, would, and should be.
Museum of Iconic Stock Photos
There are some images that we know are going to stay with us the moment we set eyes upon them. A perfect sunset viewed alongside a loved one. A sparkling meteor shower on a clear, dark night. A dazed man using a sheet cake as a pillow. Stock photos are designed to be instantly recognizable and universally palatable. And yet the scenes they depict seem to exist at a pitch of reality that is 45 degrees removed from our own—a reality where everyday scenes are transmogrified into grotesques.
INSIDER TIPThe museum offers free admission the second Thursday of every month. (The downside is that all the exhibits are watermarked during this time.)
The Museum of Abandoned Shopping Malls
Recommended Fodor’s Video
The reign of the American shopping mall was a brief, shining Camelot of brick and mortar commerce. But the Rosetta Stone for the culture that surrounded this uniquely doomed conflation of capitalism and community has yet to truly emerge. We see their emptied corridors, their tiled floors strewn with shards of discarded shelving—but what were these places, these hallowed halls of consumerism really? At the Museum of Abandoned Shopping Malls, curators seek to piece this forsaken history together one studded belt and Orange Julius cup at a time.
Museum of Unnatural History
There’s the history that we know, and then there’s the history that lurks in the dark and strange corners of the world. The history and the creatures that developed on wavelengths parallel to what we find in the known world. Look on in awe as you consider the scale of deep-sea gigantisms mixed with deep-sea bioluminescence. Marvel at the history of early humanoids … on other planets! And don’t forget to visit the Mothman Pavilion in order to see the variety of these delicate yet entrancing West Virginian cryptids.
Museum of Modern ‘Art’
What does it mean to be an Art in the modern age? Who are we in relationship to said Art? These are some of the central questions at the heart of this institution, committed to interrogating and exploring the most thought-provoking Arts of our age. From folk musicians to beloved sitcom actors, being Art has come to encompass many facets of moving through the world with the name Art. Whether it be through sculpture, photography, or painting, the nature of Art is explored via every medium.