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Four Offbeat Museums in New England

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Photo of Museum of Bad Art
Museum of Bad Art, Dedham, Mass. (photo by Eric)

I love cultural landmarks like the Museum of Science Boston and Museum of Fine Arts Boston, but they are not the only ball game in town. New England has its share of offbeat museums that feature themes definitely focusing on the road less taken. Here are a few unique museums in New England that tend to fly under the cultural radar:

Museum of Bad Art, Dedham, Mass. Located in the decrepit basement of  the otherwise beautiful Dedham Community Theater in Dedham, Mass., the Museum of Bad Art showcases the world’s worst art. The curators collect these artistic atrocities from some unknown amateurs, dusty attics, thrift stores, yard sales and trash cans. The Museum of Bad Art bills its collection as “Art too bad to be ignored.” As an added bonus, the Museum is located right next to the restroom (which is bigger than the museum). Admission is free, thank goodness! 580 High St. Tel. (781) 444-6757

The Trash Museum, Hartford, Conn. This museum focuses on waste management, including a viewing area for a working regional recycling center. There’s even a gift shop with recycled or reused content. Admission at the CRRA Trash Museum is $3 per person (free for ages two years and under). 211 Murphy Rd. Tel. (860) 757-7765

Umbrella Cover Museum, Peaks Island, Maine That cloth sleeve that comes with the umbrella is the catalyst for the Umbrella Cover Museum. The founder reportedly had a few of them , opened a museum and people have been donating ever since. 62-B Island Ave. Tel. (207) 939-0301

Waterbury Button Museum, Waterbury, Conn. Located in the Mattatuck Museum (an arts and history center), the Waterbury Button Museum taps into Waterbury’s prominent button making history with 10,000 hand and machine made buttons on permanent display. From military to fashion, this museum is right on the button with its unique presentation! 114 West Main St. Tel. (203) 753-0381

Editor’s note: call before embarking on your trip to any of these museums to make sure they are open!

Do you know of an offbeat museum in New England? Share your experiences in the “Leave a Reply” box below!

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