See Art & Animal Skeletons without Leaving Your Car
Oddities and outsider art collide at the Drive-Thru Museum of Wonder, a place so weird you can hardly believe it exists.
The museum is the brainchild of self-taught artist Butch Anthony, who cut windows into an old aluminum travel trailer and a couple of shipping containers and filled them with artwork and items from the “cabinet of curiosities” he’s amassed over the years.
Located just off Highway 431 in Seale, Alabama, the Drive-Thru Museum of Wonder is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—there for you whenever you get a hankering to see art, animal bones, old sports trophies, baby doll parts, taxidermied animals, funny signs, and the world’s largest gallstone. It is truly off the beaten path, but well worth the detour. Plus, it’s the world’s largest gallstone. Who doesn’t want to see that in person?
A Joke Turns Serious
Anthony began making art in mid-90s as something of a joke, but some of his pieces now sell for thousands and can be spotted in restaurants, hotels, and galleries throughout the country—even as far away as London and Moscow. I am prepared to offer you some original Fred art for thousands of dollars. Why are you laughing? THIS IS NOT A JOKE!
When he was just 14, he opened his own taxidermy business on his family’s 80-acre farm in Seale, where he still lives.
Cabinet of Curiosities
In his teens, Anthony also started collecting oddities that caught his fancy, like a ring found growing inside a potato, the aforementioned gallstone (removed from a Georgia woman in 1977), a spider trapped in amber, and some bizarre dioramas from a traveling preacher show depicting scenes from the book of Revelations. You can see all of this from your car, but we actually parked and looked closely on foot like a couple of rubes.
Putting Seale on the Map
Butch Anthony has become something of a legend in Alabama and in the folk art world. The state once commissioned him to make an ornament for the White House Christmas tree, and for a number of years he organized the “Doo Nanny” folk art and music festival on his family’s compound. If people know about Seale, Alabama, it’s probably thanks to him.
One Man’s Junk…
“I just make things out of junk,” Anthony explains in this really cool 5-minute video produced by Etsy, in which he also gives a tour of the absolutely amazing cabin he built by hand. In the meantime, I figured out how to use an air-fryer all by myself.
A Fortunetelling Chicken
The painting you see on the right is of an actual rooster Anthony once owned. He named it Bob Ross and claimed it could tell fortunes. It paints a verbal picture of your future. Okay, I’ll stop.
See for Yourself
If you go: Seale is only about 15 miles from Columbus, Georgia. We’ve got lots of ideas for what to do there. And from Columbus, it’s just another 35 miles to the amazing Pasaquan folk art complex. One thing to note about the Drive-Thru Museum of Wonders: It’s just a fraction of Butch Anthony’s collection. If you call ahead, you may be able to schedule a tour of his entire compound. I wish we had time to do this. Maybe next time.
|↑1||It is truly off the beaten path, but well worth the detour. Plus, it’s the world’s largest gallstone. Who doesn’t want to see that in person?|
|↑2||I am prepared to offer you some original Fred art for thousands of dollars. Why are you laughing? THIS IS NOT A JOKE!|
|↑3||You can see all of this from your car, but we actually parked and looked closely on foot like a couple of rubes.|
|↑4||In the meantime, I figured out how to use an air-fryer all by myself.|
|↑5||It paints a verbal picture of your future. Okay, I’ll stop.|
|↑6||I wish we had time to do this. Maybe next time.|