Seattle is known for its gray and rainy winters, and while coffee shops may seem like the obvious escape, there’s a new museum in town that’s reshaping the city’s art scene. The Museum of Museums, or MoM, is a pop of neon in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood, and it’s anything but typical.
Created by local artist Greg Lundgren, MoM features boundary-pushing, contemporary art by artists of all backgrounds and ages. The museum has rotating exhibitions that run for several months at a time, and each floor is filled with eclectic and imaginative displays that will make you smile.
Whether you’re an artist, an art lover, or just looking for a fun and interesting place to take a date or friends, MoM is a must-visit. So come to MoM with curiosity and an open mind, and prepare to be delighted by all the little surprises within.
A Delayed Start and a Bold Concept
Any business that’s held on amidst delays, closures and uncertainty during the pandemic deserves a reward for perseverance. The MoM grappled with false starts and delays before officially opening to the public in March 2021, a full year and a half later than originally planned.
An atypical start didn’t derail this art center. Boundary pushing, offbeat and contemporary art fills every corner of the medical building turned museum.
The Museum of Museums is the brainchild of local artist Greg Lundgren.
It features some of the best of Seattle’s art scene by highlighting unique displays by artists of all backgrounds and ages.
Though compact, the maze-like museum’s three floors will keep you engaged enough to take your time.
Here, you’ll also find a small theater and a gift shop with a twist.
Discover eclectic art in unexpected places, and interactive, imaginative exhibitions that’ll make you smile and go, “Huh.”
If you’re under the impression that the Museum of Museums is taking the concept of an art museum and reinterpreting it on its own terms … you’re completely correct.
An eclectic sampling from the museum’s gift shop.
Art for the Curious
Sure, if you appreciate pondering the creation, expression and conceptualization of art, you’ll enjoy the museum’s offerings. But don’t worry, this is not a museum exclusive to people who “get” art.
If you’re an artist wanting to meet fellow art-loving locals, you’ll like it here. If you’re looking for a place that features a good mix of art by BIPOC artists, MoM is a good option.
Also consider coming here if you’re looking for a place to take a date or friends, as it will spark fun and interesting conversations. Find more romantic things to do in Seattle!
On the opening night of the latest installation, people of every background flocked to the museum to see the new exhibits. Some of us were enchanted, some bewildered, and all of us were charmed by at least one display.
The common denominator among the vastly varied crowd seemed to be that curiosity brought us here.
I am enjoying one of the museum’s best exhibits; no shoes allowed in this one!
The Present Edition
There are a lot of fun surprises in the latest iteration of exhibits.
The Museum of Museums has rotating exhibitions that run for several months at a time and typically hosts an opening party to ring in the new displays.
A recent opening night saw the museum packed with people excited for the final exhibitions of 2022. A couple of DJs kept the mood upbeat, and a bar serving beer, wine and other drinks ensured the celebratory vibe.
Entering the small museum, it was difficult to choose where to go first. Eventually, I decided to start with the rooms on the second floor. One room had large-scale paintings, textiles, digital art and an intriguing found-object sculpture. Each piece was a foray into color and texture with distinct Afrofuturistic themes.
In the adjacent Emergence Room, pieces by young artists ages 6-16 covered the walls.
This room also contained a miniature model museum – a museum within a museum (and a nod to MoM’s name).
The first floor held even more exciting finds. Among these was another tiny museum in a locker, and an unexpected mashup of cult films and pop music in the small, four-seat theater room.
The gift shop was one of the most unusual I’d seen in a museum. It was certainly conceptual, more like another exhibition than a traditional gift shop; that was probably the point.
Everywhere you turn in this museum, you’ll see art in eccentric or unusual places. Even the bathrooms are art pieces. Groups of people would disappear into them all at once to check out the newest installment (no judgment if you want to bring your friends in with you for a little look, too).
The third floor has the showstopper: An interactive, multi-room exhibit that’s whimsical, nostalgic and playful all at once.
Prepare to not only be surrounded by the art, but to become part of it as you make your way through this one.
All of this is just the tip of the iceberg, though. If you really want to understand all the museum has to offer, you’ll just need to go yourself!
The museum is currently open Thursday through Sunday, and stays open until 10 p.m. every day but Sunday, which makes this one of the few museums in Seattle with regular, late-night hours.
Follow their social media account for changes in hours, general information, changing exhibits and pop-ups. You don’t want to miss a thing!
Have a blast on your visit to the museum. The MoM is such a refreshing spin on a museum and is just the thing Seattle’s art scene needs. Come to MoM with curiosity and an open mind, and you’ll be delighted by all the little surprises within.
Tag us in your adventures @trendingnorthwestmag!
Chelsea is a Seattle-based freelance writer with an adventurous spirit and a passion for all travel, whether it takes her across the globe or down the street. She enjoys writing about her trips, whipping up articles on health, wellness, and personal development, and working on her novel. When she’s not traveling or writing, she’s reading any fantasy book she can get her hands on, tending to her rapidly expanding houseplant collection, and honing her strategy skills so she can always beat her husband at board games.