Travel guides and leisure sections in the newspapers regularly list museums you just “must” see. But I’ve never actually seen a list of museums that I’m supposed to be discouraged from visiting.
Until now — here’s one that covers “the most unnecessary museums in the United States”:
The Museum of Bad Art: The justification for this one was thin at best when it launched in the early 1990s, but at this point, it’s safe to say that the Internet’s a much better repository of terrible and useless art. Why not use this building to showcase, you know, good stuff?
The Museum of Menstruation and Women’s Health: Case in point: This website is devoted to the history of menstruation, for those who just can’t live another month without knowing what tampons were like in the 1940s. Totally random and completely unnecessary.
The Washington Banana Museum: It’s a museum. About bananas. Any money you spend getting here is money you deserved to lose.
Frank and Jane Clement Brick Museum: It’s literally rooms filled with old bricks. And just in case you want to pop in on a lark, it’s “by appointment only.” I guess brick fans are hardcore people.
The Cockroach Hall of Fame and Museum: If you’ve ever wanted to see dead roaches posed in a variety of scenes and costumes, this is the place. Seriously, though: How is there a demand for this kind of thing?
Leila’s Hair Museum: Started by a former hairdresser, this Missouri museum is devoted to hair, and features rows and rows of hair wreaths in frames. More than a little creepy.
The Hammer Museum: I refuse to believe there are enough different types of hammer — you know, a stick with a weight on the end — to justify the existence of an entire museum dedicated to their history. There are more than 1,500 hammers on display at Alaska’s Hammer Museum, which is 1,499 more than you need to know about.
The Giant Shoe Museum: It’s not a giant museum of shoes; it’s a museum of giant shoes. Dedicated to oversized footwear, this oddball museum in Washington ranks as one of the most superfluous in the country.
Kansas Barbed Wire Museum: I am sure that the proprietors of this barbed wire museum are wonderful people, but there is no more unnecessary field trip for local schools than a day spent looking at old hunks of twisted metal.
National Mustard Museum: This Wisconsin museum has been around for a quarter century, during which time nothing about mustard has changed at all. It’s still yellow and made for hot dogs. That’s it.
Bergstrom-Mahler Museum: Don’t let the vaguely normal name fool you: This museum is devoted to paperweights of all shapes and sizes. Pretty? Sure, if that’s your thing. But a museum dedicated to hunks of glass and metal used on coffee tables is a bit much.
(Quoted from here).
Good idea. There must be many more around the world. But — on the other hand — what’s “unnecessary”? Some of these museums actually sound quite interesting. Full of curiosities. Curiosities themselves. So maybe this is the list of museums I’d really like to visit when I get to the US next time 🙂
So please make our day — send us nominations for the most unnecessary science, technology and medical museum (globalwise).