November 19, 2014
The Louvre? Nice enough, sure. The Guggenheim? Alright. MOMA? Of course. When one travels, it’s easy to head to one of the celebrated homes of high-minded exhibits and historically-important collections.
But sometimes, it’s more fun to be surrounded by plush bunnies. Or massive neon lights.
Mitch-Stuart, Inc., can send the winners of gala auctions
to destinations far and wide with its nonprofit charity auction travel packages. Some of those places, like New York, Washington D.C. or Paris, are known in part for their vast collections of art, scientific touchstones or even sporting memorabilia. But not every museum is a depository of important cultural or scientific artifacts. Some are homes to strange blocks of curios, while others are repositories for the unloved or unappreciated pieces of lives past. When in one of these top tourist destinations, look out for these off-beat museums.
It should surprise no one that the Los Angeles area, home of the human oddities on Hollywood Boulevard and that repository of quirks and quacks, the movie industry, features two of the strangest museums around. On Venice Boulevard in Culver City, the Museum of Jurassic Technology features exhibits like “The Stink Ant of the Cameroon” and “The Horn of Mary Davis of Saughall,” though there’s still a debate as to whether the museum itself is a serious endeavor (and of what theme?) or a parody of private-collection museums. On the other side of the L.A. basin, the Bunny Museum in Pasadena contains a collection of more than 30,000 rabbit-related items, including stuffed animals, collectible figures and even a small crew of “house bunnies,” pets of the owners.
In Boston, the Museum of Bad Art features anywhere from 50 to 70 pieces at any one time, each showcasing what happens when the best of intentions meets the worst of talent. “Works” like “Lucy in the Sky with Flowers” and “Mama and Babe” quite obviously come from a good place, but also can be tough to look at. The museum ends up being a tribute to good intentions as much as a place to critique the less-talented, though there’s plenty of opportunities for the latter, as well. Now with two locations in the Boston area to visit, MOBA (as it’s abbreviated) draws fans of the off-beat and outright awful year-round.
Las Vegas is underrated in terms of its high art scene (any city with as much money as Vegas will have a collection or two worth seeing, like the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art), but its two best museums have more to do with the city’s history than any imported idea of art. Downtown Las Vegas is home to the Mob Museum, a collection of exhibits that trace the rise and fall of organized crime in America. It is home to, among other artifacts, the actual wall where the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre took place (the “massacre” involved Al Capone-hired killers in Chicago) and is housed in the former Las Vegas Post Office and Courthouse. Up the road is another Vegas-centric collection, the Neon Museum, which hosts almost 150 of the city’s signature neon signs from casinos and other businesses. Guided tours take visitors past signs as old as the Moulin Rouge, which was billed as the country’s first interracial hotel in 1955, and as recent as the O’Shea’s Casino signage removed during the LINQ renovations on the Strip.
Want to give a donor the chance to visit a unique collection for a one-of-a-kind photo opportunity? Reach out to a Mitch-Stuart, Inc. representative today!