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arts & culture

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NEW ORLEANS PHARMACY MUSEUM NEW ORLEANS, LA

Located in the French Quarter, the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum stands as living proof that bloodletting and other questionable medical theories were once considered “best practices” in the field of medicine. Housed in a building listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the apothecary of America’s first licensed pharmacist Louis J. Dufilho, Jr. includes classic medical artifacts, a 19th-century physician’s study, a spectacle collection, homeopathic remedies, dental instruments, and medical memorabilia. Visitors will find themselves surrounded by hand-blown apothecary bottles filled with crude drugs, medicinal herbs, “gris-gris” potions (used by Voodoo practitioners), and even rare patent medicines, all of which speak to a time not so very long ago when pharmacists were charged with creating their own medicines and modern medical theory was in its infancy. Dedicated to furthering interest in the history of pharmacology, the Pharmacy Museum of New Orleans is not to be missed. PharmacyMuseum.org

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THE MUSEUM OF BAD ART SOMERVILLE, MA

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A privately-owned museum whose stated aim is "to celebrate the labor of artists whose work would be displayed and appreciated in no other forum," The Museum of Bad Art (MoBA) houses a collection of over 700 pieces of "art too bad to be ignored." Twenty-five to 35 pieces of artwork remain on display at any one time. Founded in 1994, around “Lucy in the Field with Flowers” a painting antique dealer Scott Wilson recovered from the trash, MoBA remains the only U.S. museum dedicated to collecting and exhibiting only the very worst. In fact, to be included in MoBA's collection, works must be original and have serious intent, while also exhibiting significant flaws without being boring. MoBA holds rigorous standards as to what they will accept as fully nine out of 10 pieces don't qualify because they're not bad enough. Look for famous bad works, “Sunday on the Pot with George” and “BoneJuggling Dog in Hula Skirt.” MuseumOfBadArt.org 86

PORTER SCULPTURE PARK MONTROSE, SD Located just off Interstate 90, about 25 miles west of Sioux Falls, SD, is the Porter Sculpture Park. Featuring art made from scrap metal, old farm equipment, and railroad tie plates, the 10-acre park features more than 50 original sculptures. The largest is a 60-foot-tall bull’s head, weighing more than 25 tons, equal in size to the heads on Mt. Rushmore and taking in excess of three years to construct. The artist, Wayne Porter, has never taken a single art class. He learned basic blacksmithing from his father and took his gifts forward from there. Porter makes all his sculptures without relying on diagrams, trusting his “instinct” instead. Well, that instinct made Porter Sculpture Park one of Time Magazine’s 50 top roadside attractions in all of America. PorterSculpturePark.com

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