Food packages, vintage pharmaceuticals, soda bottles, stationery, clothing, cosmetics, toys, advertisements, old electronics, shoe polish — you name it, the Museo del Objeto del Objeto (MODO) probably has it. As intriguing as it is, though, MODO’s collection of almost 100,000 objects is almost secondary to the museum’s primary goal of serving as an homage to the collector in all of us.
The foundation for the museum was provided by the private collection of Bruno Newman, whose interest in beautiful, rare, obscure, or otherwise interesting items led him to amass 30,000 such objects over a period of 40 years. His curios first decorated his coffee table, then a full room in his home, and eventually a warehouse. The collection included everything from turn-of-the-century French lotion to shaving implements to old bouillon cans. Ultimately, he decided to make his collection available for the public to study and enjoy, converting his 1906 Art Nouveau mansion into an exhibition space and naming it the Museo del Objeto del Objeto (“Museum of the Object [as in purpose] of the Object”), which opened in 2010.
MODO was established not only to showcase the fascinating and curious objects collected by Newman and others, but also to chronicle the history and culture of commercial, promotional, and advertorial design in Mexico and elsewhere. It also celebrates Mexico’s thriving collecting scene — whether the collectibles are sneakers, skateboards, or post cards.
The oldest object in the museum dates back to 1810, and taken together, the collection provides an intriguing look at the design of the relatively mundane items people have interacted with on a daily basis over the past 200 years. Given the large size of the collection and the comparatively small exhibition space available, all exhibits are temporary and rotate regularly.