Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum – The Colony, Texas

The Toilet Seat Art Museum is more about the artistic representation of the toilet seat. On top of it being an uncommon type of museum, it is also in a garage located in a residential area in Alamo Heights, Texas.

This museum showcases the life’s work of Barney Smith, who created over 1400 art pieces out of toilet seats over the course of many decades.

Smith started his collection when he attached a pair of deer antlers to a toilet seat as a joke. He went to a plumbing supply warehouse and took home a large number of extra or defective seats to use for more pieces of art. 

This museum is the creation of Barney Smith a retired master plumber. Interestingly enough the toilet seats are what people went to see but after arriving, the consensus is that he was always the main attraction with plenty of stories to share.

Barney had a large collection with close to 1,500 toilet seats and covers, all available for public viewing without a charge of admission. Also apart from sticking to the unique theme of toilet seats not much else is off the table with this museum.

His collection of artwork included a toilet seat with pieces of the Berlin Wall, one with a piece of the Space Shuttle Challenger, and one with barbed wire from Auschwitz. He also was gifted some historic toilet seats, including one that belonged to Saddam Hussein and one that he said Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis used aboard an airplane.

Barney opened the original museum in 1992 in a large garage in his backyard. As you can see from the visitor logs, press pieces, and travel books in the foyer, his museum was beloved by San Antonio locals and tourists, garnering national and international attention. When we saw Barney’s spectacular collection of eclectic, whimsical, and charming art, and heard that Barney was ready to retire, we knew Truck Yard was the museum’s perfect next home.

In 2017, the museum was sold at auction, with its new owner moving it to The Colony, Texas. Smith cut the ribbon on the new location in May 2019. Just a few days before he turned 98 and a few weeks before opening this museum, Barney said “I appreciate them wanting…to put my work on display and to show the world what I did for 97 years of my life. I’d like to be remembered for how a person could save a lot of stuff that is being destroyed [and] for showing them it needs to be saved – maybe not on a toilet seat, but they can save what has come their way instead of destroying it. Showing that it’s worth something.”

Turning forgotten items into art is something we understand here at Truck Yard.

Passions and hobbies come in all shapes and sizes, including toilet seats. Barney Smith decorated and customized toilet seats for over 50 years, passing away at 98 years old in 2019. His life’s work is currently on display at the Truck Yard beer garden in Houston, Texas, carefully relocated from his garage in San Antonio, Texas.


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