UCM Museum - Abita Springs, Louisiana
Artist and collector John Preble has gathered this eccentric collection of artwork and oddities, proclaiming it "Louisiana's Most Eccentric Tourist Attraction". The museum is housed in a classic Standard Oil filling station just east of the one-block main street of town. It was inspired by the dusty tourist traps out west, with a similar aesthetic of interconnected outbuildings packed to the rafters with amateur paintings, coin-op automata, and taxidermy novelties.
Passing through the gift shop, the visitor pays entry to a mysterious door, which leads out to an open-air courtyard enclosed by small buildings. A long building to the side houses a large collection of paint-by-number pictures and mechanical dioramas which come to life for a quarter. Some of the more whimsical exhibits include a tiny "ten-foot alligator" peep show, and other Louisiana equivalents to the classic jackalope. The largest of these is a car-sized Bassigator, a former Mardi Gras parade float art car, now housed under a canopy in a small yard surrounded by decorated bicycles slowly melting away into the rampant vegetation. At the far end of the museum grounds lies the House of Shards, a small structure covered in a glittering picassiette of broken glass and mirrors.
Hours of the museum are at ucmmuseum.com.
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