Lonely Planet Writer

A toilet seat art museum is up for sale in Texas

A toilet seat art museum that has been going strong in Texas for over 50 years is now up for sale. The museum is owned and run by retired plumber, Barney Smith, from Alamo Heights in San Antonio. At 96 years of age, he is now offering someone else the chance to take over his title of “King of the Commode.”

Barney Smith is selling his toilet art museum in Texas. Image by Barney Smith’s Toilet Art Museum

Barney has been turning the humble toilet seat into works of art for 53 years and has a total of over 1300 seats in his collection. Each one tells a story, and it can take him up to 100 hours of work to transform it into an artwork. Themes he has featured include Batman, Mardi Gras, Vietnam, Barbie, wasps, animal skulls, the Berlin Wall and the Olympic Games.

Thousands of people from all around the world have come to check the museum out, although they have to phone and book in first. Barney opens the museum, which is located in his garage, by appointment, and says that he can “talk your head off” explaining the stories behind the various seats.

Barney Smith is selling his toilet art museum in Texas. Image by Barney Smith’s Toilet Art Museum

The reason he is looking to sell the museum is that he feels he is getting too old to run it, at 96 years of age. He would love to sell the collection to another museum and would be thrilled if it stayed in the same location.

Barney Smith is selling his toilet art museum in Texas. Image by Barney Smith’s Toilet Art Museum

The company Clorox heard about Barney’s museum and created a website to showcase his art, and help him find a flush buyer. You can check out the toilet seat designs on OdeToTheCommode.com or on Barney’s Facebook page.