The Museum Of Wonder – Seale, Alabama - Atlas Obscura

The Museum Of Wonder

A former taxidermist has turned his old shop into a folk art mecca. 


Located in rural Seale, Alabama, the Museum of Wonder collects painting, taxidermy, found objects, and just about any piece of junk one can imagine into a cacophony of folk art and architecture. 

The Museum of Wonder is the work of Alabama artist Butch Anthony who has been collecting discarded items and other junk since he was ten years old. After selling a friend’s painting of a turnip almost by accident, Anthony realized that there could be money in art made from the items he had simply collected as a matter of course for his whole life. Using everything from animal bones to rusted metal to jars full of creepy-looking dead critters, Anthony filled his former taxidermy shop with homemade pieces of art and objects of curiosity.

Soon the 500-square-foot cabin was completely full of his creations and the museum was born. His signature style, aside from the use of the dead animals he is so used to, is to trace impressionistic skeletons over vintage photographs, and adding illustration to what would otherwise be considered motel paintings.

Anthony says that he is trying to recreate the small town folk museums that used to feature in every tiny town in America, although he describes his as closer to “P. T. Barnum on crack.” The Museum of Wonder is joined on Anthony’s land by the Possum Trot, a barbeque joint/junker’s auction. The auction house is only open on Friday nights, but if you can make it you might get to see where some of the wonder is born.

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