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Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum

Art Museums

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On August 2, 1992, a former wandering evangelist and retired master plumber opened a people’s museum in his small, metal garage located in the heart of the Alamo Heights neighborhood of San Antonio, Texas. Intent on sharing his strange and wonderful artworks with the world, Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum has welcomed thousands of visitors from every state in the union and over 80 different countries since opening. Today, at 96 years old, Barney has completed more than 1,300 works of art that involve assembling, etching, collaging, and painting directly onto toilet seat lids. The subject matter of these artworks is expansive but includes tributes to community groups, colleges, and youth organizations; commemorations of birthdays, anniversaries, and grandchildren; collections of objects such as dog tags, arrowheads, pipes, and keys; and tokens of world culture including a piece of insulation from the ill-fated Challenger spaceship.

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