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Forget the growling dinosaur joys of the Natural History Museum or the poignant collections of the National Portrait gallery.

Some people prefer to get their kicks examining examples of 18th-century cross-stitching, while others enjoy an afternoon mooch around glass cabinets filled with handwritten train timetables. When it comes to museums, it really is each to their own, and for every niche interest you can almost guarantee there’s a bizarre collection somewhere dedicated to its honour.

 

1. Bad Art, US

One of the most random has to be the tremendously popular Museum of Bad Art in Somerville, Massachusetts. Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder here, as the museum’s exhibitions include only the most eye-wateringly fugly, painfully misjudged  or just plain strange samples of artistic endeavour.

Among the highlights, or lowlights depending on your perspective, are some real howlers. There’s a barber’s chair beneath floating scissors, which seeks to capture the fear of a bad haircut. There’s also a very angry elderly lady (or gent, it’s tough to tell) skipping through a field of daisies.

The museum certainly lives up to its slogan: “Art too bad to be ignored.” It was established in 1994 by antiques dealer Scott Wilson, who kept finding hideous pieces in rubbish tips and started putting them up in his own home for his friends’ entertainment.

There are about 600 pieces in the museum’s stores, although only 50-70 are displayed at a time due to space limitations. And they won’t take any old piece of junk either – potential additions are regularly turned down for not being ugly enough. 

Become transfixed for a couple of hours and even try your hand at some art criticism – you won’t be short of inspiration and the museum offers a monthly prize for the best interpretation of a piece. Admission is worth every penny – it’s free. 

museumofbadart.org

 

2. Instant Ramen, Japan

Ah, that most riveting of subjects: freeze-dried noodles. We could talk about it all day, couldn’t you? In Japan’s Instant Ramen Museum, you can learn about the history of the delicacy and their invention in 1958.

The museum’s top attractions include a noodle cup theatre shaped like a Styrofoam holder, and the chance to make your very own chicken noodles to take home for tea. Can you contain your excitement? 

instantramen-museum.jp


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Top 5 bizarre museums: From Japan's weird Ramen Museum to Kent's Museum of Dog Collars
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