At Last

Museum of Museums Is Finally Open

The First Hill art center's long-delayed debut has arrived.

By Stefan Milne March 11, 2021

A scene from Energy Drink, now showing at MoM. 

Image: Stefan Milne

Initially, First Hill’s Museum of Museums (MoM) was supposed to open in October 2019. Then it got pushed back to February 7, 2020. Then it got delayed again. Then: pandemic. Then in November it opened ever so briefly for a press preview, before the winter's rising Covid cases put the whole county back in a sort of lockdown, museums included. But, today, finally, at long last, MoM will welcome you with open arms—well, as open as arms can be while at 25-percent capacity during a pandemic (though limited-capacity museums were the safest activity a Berlin Institute of Technology study looked at, not without risk but way below a half-full, unmasked office). 

You can get tickets here for $10 each. Current hours are 5–10pm on Thursdays and Fridays, noon–10pm on Saturdays, and noon–6pm on Sundays. A summary of everything MoM contains feels pointless; the place is crammed with invention—a gift shop, a four-seat cinema, elaborate bathroom design—but here are three highlights I wrote about in November right before it was supposed to open:

1. As soon as you walk in, Goodwitch/Badwitch is to your left. The 50-artist show is curated by artist Bri Luna and Lundgren. It’s about witchcraft, art, and magic, but not always prototypically. So Santa Fe artist Debra Baxter’s Dark Knuckles—brass knuckles, only made of sterling and smoky quartz—might fit your witchy expectations. But what about Janet Galore’s Rock Garden: Generator which projects video eyeballs onto rocks along with a soundtrack I can only describe as spa-wave? (See video.) The whole exhibit is fun, multivalent, and engaging.


2. There’s a miniature museum in the museum: the Supperfield Museum of Contemporary Art. It’s designed by NBBJ, the same firm that designed MoM’s building, and is full of little dolls and tiny pieces of art. You can follow its institutional drama via the Instagrams of founder Margaret Supperfield (a fictional figure) and the SMCA. Let the self-reflexive commentary commence.

3. The upstairs is given over to Energy Drink from Neon Saltwater and Brian Sanchez. It makes you feel like you’re in an old video game: trippy, beautiful, and imbued with a surprisingly emotional sense of escape if, like me, you’ve spent most of the past year trapped in your own neighborhood.

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