Visit The Museum of Online Museums (MoOM): A Mega Collection of 220 Online Exhibitions

MOOM rijks

It is my habit, when trav­el looms, to case the Inter­net for obscure muse­ums my des­ti­na­tion might have to offer. Once loaded, I fix­ate. Chat me up about my itin­er­ary, and you will def­i­nite­ly come away with the impres­sion that these off­beat locales are the trip’s pri­ma­ry rai­son d’être.

It’s shock­ing how rarely I actu­al­ly make it to one of these off-the-beat­en path gems. Time flies and I rarely trav­el alone these days.

Take a recent fam­i­ly trip to Lon­don. Every time I brought up the Muse­um of Brands, my hus­band expressed reser­va­tions. “But what is it, exact­ly, oth­er than a bunch of old labels?” he’d press.

I hemmed and hawed, real­iz­ing on the cel­lu­lar lev­el that nei­ther he nor the kids could see the beau­ty in old labels. Dinosaurs, maybe. Ves­pas, no doubt. But old labels? This is how I found myself giv­ing the British Muse­um near­ly three times the Muse­um of Brand’s admis­sion charge to join a mighty throng of pen­sion­ers, squint­ing at a hand­ful of bor­ing but­ton frag­ments and a chunk of wood that no longer resem­bled a Viking Ship.

Next time, I swear…


How for­tu­nate for me and my ilk that Chica­go design firm Coudal Part­ners is com­mit­ted to labor­ing far out­side its expect­ed scope. In addi­tion to cham­pi­oning Stan­ley Kubrick and poet­ry, they’ve tak­en it upon them­selves to con­sol­i­date a panoply of dig­i­tal col­lec­tions into the Muse­um of Online Muse­ums. (The pre­ferred acronym is MoOM, FYI.)

Unlike that of cer­tain of my trav­el­ing com­pan­ions, Coudal Part­ners’ def­i­n­i­tion of what con­sti­tutes a muse­um is demo­c­ra­t­ic. Gen­er­ous, even. The Met­ro­pol­i­tan Muse­um of Art, the Rijksmu­se­um, and the Musée d’Or­say share space with such non-brick-and-mor­tar com­pan­ions as the Busy Beaver But­ton Muse­um, the Gro­cery List Col­lec­tion, and Toast­er Cen­tral.


Like any major insti­tu­tion, MoOM touts their cur­rent exhi­bi­tions, a sea­son­al sam­pling of five. This spring brings togeth­er the Rijksmu­se­um’s Stu­dio Project, NASA’s Space Food Hall of Fame, a col­lec­tion of Dutch safe­ty posters from 50 Watts, 40 retro-groovy Japan­ese ads com­pli­ments of Voic­es of East Anglia, and a pho­to­graph­ic sur­vey of eggnog car­tons. (That last one real­ly deserves a brick and mor­tar home. Loca­tion is imma­te­r­i­al. I’d just like to fan­ta­size about vis­it­ing it some­day.)

egg nog

Mean­while, the talk of the town here in New York City is the reap­pear­ance of Mmu­se­umm, an eclec­tic, non-prof­it housed in a 60-square-foot Tribeca ele­va­tor shaft. MoOM, take note.

Find more online exhi­bi­tions at the Muse­um of Online Muse­ums.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Met­ro­pol­i­tan Muse­um of Art Puts 400,000 High-Res Images Online & Makes Them Free to Use

LA Coun­ty Muse­um Makes 20,000 Artis­tic Images Avail­able for Free Down­load

Down­load Over 250 Free Art Books From the Get­ty Muse­um

Ayun Hal­l­i­day wrote about her expe­ri­ences as a muse­um guard in her 3rd book, Job Hop­per. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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