In a 2011 paperback, cultural critic Greil Marcus coined the term "The Old, Weird America" to describe the eerie, odd and often forgotten nuggets of American culture. At Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Art Museum, the weirdness is alive and well. Founded by plumber Barney Smith, the museum opened in 1992 after his eccentric folk art was featured in the local news. As of last year, the 93-year-old Smith had completed 1,150 works, ranging from a lamentation of the Space Shuttle Challenger to a commemoration of his appearance on Montel Williams. If you bring a toilet seat, Smith will honor your donation with an engraving on the back of the finished work. But call ahead before visiting — the museum doubles as his home. 239 Abiso Ave., (210) 824-7791.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.