Things to Do

An Offbeat Attraction: Toilet Seat Art Museum in San Antonio

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If you have ever looked at a toilet seat and seen the potential for art, you have something in common with Barney Smith. In fact, you could find yourself the next owner of Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum in San Antonio. After decades of creating, Smith is ready to retire and pass his museum off to younger artists.

About the Toilet Seat Museum

Barney Smith with one of his creations at the Toilet Seat Art Museum

Photo: Facebook/Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum

The Toilet Seat Art Museum in San Antonio is the lifelong culmination of one man’s love of art. From his work as a master plumber and his naturally artistic bent, Barney Smith transformed toilet seats into works of art. These seats stand out from traditional paintings or sculptures, but they reflect Smith’s talent as well as various aspects of American history.

What You’ll See at the Museum

Some of the seats in the series honoring US states

Photo: Facebook/Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum

At the museum, be prepared to see a variety of seats. Smith has gained a following of folks who save items to contribute to his art. He’s got seats with license plates from all 50 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Other seats commemorate history while others are more personal. With more than 500 seats on display, you will likely see something different every time you visit.

Know Before You Go

Sign for the Toilet Seat Art Museum

Photo: Facebook/Outlier Moving Pictures

Before you go, know that this free museum is open to the public, but since Smith lives here, too, the hours are strictly limited. Call ahead to verify that the museum will be open at the time you intend to go. Unlike many art galleries, you can look but not buy. The toilet seats on display are not for sale, no matter how much you want to purchase one. Smith says his museum is for the people, and not selling his artwork keeps it that way. News has circulated that Smith may sell his Toilet Seat Art Museum. If he does, the collection may move, but hopefully, the new owner will continue Smith’s legacy.