Museum of Bad Art- Is It Really?

The objective of the Dedham and Somerville based Museum of Bad Art is “To celebrate the labor of artists whose work would be displayed in no other forum”. Founded in 1994, its curators accept only the worst pieces of artwork, claiming that 9 out of 10 submitted for display are rejected simply because “they aren’t bad enough”. Curators claim that most of the collection consists of artists who display a certain level of emotion which they are not able to express with their level of skill, which brings up the question: does lack of skill in expressing emotion equate to bad art? Surely, blank canvas art and monotone artwork do not require much skill- do they? While the physical output of the artist may be little, the mental input; the intention of the piece requires much skill, for who would be so bold as to display something as outrageous as a blank canvas at an art exhibition? It’s cliché but true; it’s the thought that counts. The social connections and authority of each of these artists definitely play a role in the acceptance or recognition of their works. In relation to the critics, authority also affects their judgement of the piece. Who are they to assume that the artist intended for an emotional message superseding their skill be displayed in their art? Or Perhaps the artist intended for there to be of a lesser ‘quality’. And so the question arises, what role does authority play in determining the value of an object?


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