Yesterday Mama Wordbones and I went to see the "What Makes Us Smile" exhibit at the American Visionary Arts Museum in
and we smiled, a lot. The exhibit was co-curated by Matt Groening (Simpsons), Gary Panter and Rebecca Hoffberger and included a bench covered in Whoopee cushions. I learned that the two most common themes in humor throughout world history are sex and farts. Baltimore
“Ancient Greek playwrights, 14th century Japanese Buddhist monks, Queen Elizabeth I, and classic authors like Shakespeare, Chaucer, Blake and Swift all took well-documented delight in flatulence humor.”
Did you know that Benjamin Franklin wrote about them?
Of course the exhibit is not just about sex and farts either. There are lots of things that make us smile like the old metal lunch boxes you see when you first walk in. Behind the ticket counter is a giant frame made up entirely of vintage metal lunch boxes, at least 60 of them, each one different. Mama Wordbones said she had one of those. I asked which kind.
“I don’t know but I’m pretty sure it would have been a Barbie.”
There was a Barbie and a Davey Crockett too. That would have been more my style. The whole "what makes us smile" thing was already working and we hadn’t even paid admission yet.
The exhibit runs through September 4th so there’s plenty of time to see it. Keep it as an option for one of those times you could really use a smile.
This is one of my favorite places in
. Even the gift shop is a blast. We spent as much time in there as we did some of the exhibits. Baltimore
The AVAM has a HoCo connection too.
This is actually Mama Wordbones' favorite building. She really digs the whirligigs.