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Museum of Bad Art in Boston says their exhibits are "too bad to be ignored"

Boston's Museum of Bad Art can be found in a Dorchester brewery
Boston's Museum of Bad Art can be found in a Dorchester brewery 02:43

DORCHESTER -- Boston famously has some of the best art museums in the country, with galleries like the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

But there's a museum you may not have heard of that's definitely worth a visit -- and you can grab a pint of beer while you're there.

Welcome to the Museum of Bad Art inside the Dorchester Brewing Company.

How it began

Billed as art that's "too bad to be ignored," the museum is a non-profit organization with an ever-growing collection and an expanding footprint. What was once a gag between two friends turned into a full-time museum. 

Mike Frank is the curator of the museum, making sure all of the art that's collected, donated, or found meets the threshold to be added to the permanent collection. Louise Reilly Sacco is MOBA's Permanent Acting Interim Executive Director.  

The gallery became popular after they threw a house party and word got out. 

"People were calling their friends saying, 'You've got to come see this,'" Sacco told WBZ-TV. "We ended up with a house full of people. The next morning, the five of us said, 'We have to find a way to keep this going."

A painting of George Washington and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in the Museum of Bad Art in Dorchester. CBS Boston

Since then, the friends have had art shows in Taiwan, Tokyo, Quebec City, and all over the United States. The museum has had various homes throughout the years, but moved into the brewery a couple of years ago. 

When asked about the bad art, Sacco said, "It's not kitsch. It's not someone just trying to goof around. You know these people tried hard, and something went wrong."

Different art pieces

Frank creates placards for each painting. He titles them, measures the size, notes the material, and creates a blurb about each one.

One painting, Frank pointed out, features two poodlesque dogs, with strangely human faces dancing together.

A poster of poodles dancing in Dorchester's Museum of Bad Art.  CBS Boston

"What I wrote is, 'We see a stylishly handsome couple mid-step as they glide across the floor cheek to cheek,'" Frank said.

30 years later

After being founded in the fall of 1993, the museum is officially recognized as a non-profit. It's had various homes through the years, moving into the brewery two years ago. Now there's bad art on almost every wall inside.

Along with its traveling displays, the museum just announced it will have a permanent display at a museum in Quebec City that's set to open later this year.

MOBA is also celebrating its 30th anniversary on Monday, June 24 from 7-to-9 p.m. at the Dorchester Brewing Company. Admission is free.

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