Aura of Decision
Acrylic on art board, 16" x 20"
Purchased at a thrift shop in Boston, MA
September 2014

A doe-eyed beauty resembling Molly Ringwald glows with anxiety as she balances the influences of a sinister crone and a singularly unattractive cherub.

Molly Ringwald in
The Breakfast Club, 1985

Inauguration Day 1961
Mark Finley
Acrylic on canvas, 36" x 30"
Donated by Joe Donovan

The president's father beamed with pride on that cold, windy day when his son, looking eerily like the future King of Pop, ignored the snow piling up on his face and suggested we ask not what our country could do for us, but what we could do for our country.

This painting was clearly inspired by this photograph:

From: Museum of Bad Art: Masterworks, by Michael Frank and Louise Reilly Sacco

President Obama
Andrea Estrada, 2009
Photographs and oil on canvas, 28" x 14"
Donated by the artist
May 2011

Joining David Palmer (24) and Tom Beck (Deep Impact), Barack Obama figures prominently among the pantheon of 21st Century African-American Presidents of the United States.

Oh Jackie
Jane Doyle
Acrylic on canvas board, 24" x 18"
Donated by Cathy Soderquist
July 2013

Famous for her meticulous attention to detail in her wardrobe, the glamorous former first lady wears a dress that perfectly matches the curtain and chair in this loving portrait.

George and Jackie
Dr. Yadviga Doumont Halsey
Acrylic on masonite, 13" x 11"
Inherited from her sister Margaret Sherman (Seattle, WA) and donated by Laura Sherman (Cleveland, OH)
April 2017

The former First Lady gazes flirtatiously at the Father of our Country in this double portrait. We know it was not painted from life because they lived 200 years apart.

Melting Jackie
Acrylic on canvas, 48” x 24”
Purchased at a thrift store in Boston, MA
February 2023

Mary Todd Lincoln
Frank B. Oldfield
Acrylic and plastic on lace, 31" x 25"
Donated by the artist upon its return as an unwanted gift
May 1994

The texture of the lace lends a luster to the complexion. Careful placement of Christmas poinsettias adds a Hawaiian element to this remarkable portrait of the sixteenth president's wife. 

Painted layer by layer on four sheets of lace and adorned with previously used holiday decorations, this painting was a favorite of the artist. Mr. Oldfield presented the work as a gift to a friend and was saddened when it was returned, unwanted. Upon hearing of MOBA and its resolve to provide a home for spectacular and unwanted pieces of art, he was thrilled. "I love it, I would never hang it on my wall, and it seems I can't give it away. Then I heard about MOBA and I rejoiced that there is a place where my painting will be seen and celebrated." 

President Clinton
Jane Doyle
Acrylic on canvas board, 24” x 18”
Donated by Cathy Soderquist
September 2013

White-knuckled Bill Clinton is portrayed furtively glancing away from the viewer.

The artist’s rendition of the president’s tie offers a clue into the source of his tension.


The Clintons and Gores
Jah Robby (1993)
Oil on canvas, 22” x 30”
Received as a gift and donated by Therese Nielsen
February 2022

The artist’s inscription: “A GIFT OF ART FROM THE HEART TO YOU AND YOURS” is evidence of his sincerity, but does nothing to explain the disproportionate allocation of real estate on the canvas assigned to the members of the Clinton and Gore families. l to r:

In front of President Clinton and Hillary Clinton (left to right) are Virginia Clinton Kelley, Chelsea Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, Tipper Gore, President Clinton and  Jah Robby. The artist incorporated the tradition, begun in the Renaissance, of including a small self-portrait in the lower right corner of the painting.

Elvis Descending a Staircase
Thom Donovan
Acrylic on velvet, 16" x 12"
Donated by the artist
September 2009

Employing materials often associated with kitsch, the artist presents a variation on a theme by Marcel Duchamp, reflecting the steady decline of an American legend.

Nude Descending a Staircase
Marcel Duchamp, 1912

Think Again
Acrylic on canvas, 20" x 16"
Acquired from trash in Boston, MA

This disturbing work "makes an offer you can't refuse". The chilling, matter-of-fact manner in which the subject presents the severed head to us is a poignant reminder of just how numb we have become. The understated violence implicit in the scene speaks volumes on our own desensitization, our society's reflexive use of force, and the artist's inability to deal with the hindquarters of the animal.

There has been some speculation that this is a portrait of Disco Diva Donna Summer.

It is more likely that the inspiration for Think Again was My Pride, a print by Etienne Roth from the 1960s


Woman at her Leisure
L. Kolton
Oil on canvas, 24" x 30"
Purchased at a thrift store in Somerville, MA and donated by Erika Tarlin
December 2009

Surrounded by soft drapes, flowers, and a bowl of fruit, a comely woman wearing a loosely tied robe demurely blushes as she reads what may be a steamy romance novel. Further examination may reveal that this is a painting of Governor Sarah Palin perusing one of the various news magazines she reads regularly; the names of which she famously failed to remember.

Below is a photograph of Mrs. Palin when she was a Wasilla city councilwoman. The magazine on her desk is the March 1995 edition of The New American, published by the John Birch Society.

© Heath Family, via Associated Press

W. Middleton (East Malverne, Australia)
Oil on art-board, 14” x 10”
Purchased at a “wrecker’s yard” in Melbourne, Australia and donated by Michael Wood
July 2015

The artist attempted to capture the ethereal beauty of Raquel Welch and clearly, in curatorial parlance, nailed it!


photo © Terry O'Neill

Jazz Hands
Linda James (1987)
Acrylic paint and mold on art board, 30" x 24"
Donated by the artist
March 2014

In spite of her unfortunate haircut which was fashionable at the time, Liza Minnelli's remarkable stage presence at the peak of her career is evident in this portrait. What appears to be chest hair on the pop icon is actually mold. The artist believed her inexperience with paint and brush caused her to miss the mark, so she stored her painting in a damp garage for twenty-seven years.

I Dreamed a Dream
D. Baker
Oil on canvas board, 10" x 8"
Purchased by Nicholas Cooper and Jonathan Whitehead at a "jumble sale" in Lickey, England and donated to MOBA
May 2010

Her toothy smile, large eyeglasses, double chin, and lumpy hairstyle give the unidentified subject of this portrait an air of frumpiness that became quite fashionable among women of a certain age in the UK following the unexpected success in April 2009 of Britain's Got Talent contestant Susan Boyle.

Woman with Guitar
Jane Doyle (1992)
Acrylic on canvas board, 18” x 14”
Donated by Cathy Soderquist
July 2013

A pensive young woman clearly has an intimate relationship with her guitar. Curators believe she might be Scottish singing sensation Susan Boyle.

The Osmonds
Joan Paulsen (June 1977)
Acrylic on canvas, 11” x 14”
Purchased at a thrift shop in Cedar Rapids, IO and donated by Schulte & Swann (KZIA Radio, Cedar Radils, IO)
January 2015

The artist used the written word as well as her paint set in this homage to one of the most talented brother/sister acts in show business. Teenagers at the height of their fame in 1977, Donny and Marie wear matching clothes, hair, and smiles; a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll.

Gray Cubist Woman
Oil on canvas, 30" x 24"
Purchased at a thrift store in Boston, MA
May 2003

Using monochrome neo-cubist technique, the artist presents us with a portrait of a sophisticated feminine beauty simultaneously reminiscent of young Lauren Bacall and Dolly the Sheep.

Natty Dread
Acrylic on canvas, mink tail, 36" x 24"
Rescued from curbside trash in Somerville, MA
and donated by Amy Russell
February 2015

In light of Bob Marley’s strict vegetarian lifestyle, the artist made an ironic decision to lively up the reggae idol’s dreadlocks with the tail of a small mammal.

Pablo Presley
Bonnie Daly
Acrylic on paper, 19.5" x 11"
Donated by Garen Daly
April 1994

A refreshing multicultural treatment of one of the twentieth century’s most beloved icons.

MOBA curators contrast this work with the Velvet Elvises:  works more suited for the Museum of Questionable Taste, the International Schlock Collection, or the National Treasury of Dubious Home Decoration.

Yellow and Blue Prince
Franny (September 1991)
Oil on canvas, 18" x 24"
Purchased at a thrift store in Boston, MA
July 2006

This portrait works both as a full-face portrait of the Purple One and as a profile view. Franny spared no paint in this work which brings to mind the work of Vincent Van Gogh in his LSD period.

Coulda Been Marilyn Today
Roger Hanson, 2003
Acrylic on canvas, 20" x 16"
Donated by the artist

A little too old to have hair so blond and lips so red. The darkness rises and threatens to overwhelm.

Are those fading dreams around her?

Watch the MOBA Curator talk about this painting.

Mini Marilyn en Pointe
Oil on canvas, 48" x 30"
Purchased at a thrift store in Boston, MA
June 2010

This portrait of American film icon Marilyn Monroe was clearly inspired by Philippe Halsman's dynamic "Jumpology" photographs.

The painter may have sought to improve upon the representation by reversing and intensely colorizing the image. While the repositioning of her feet does not take away from her joyous abandon, it helps portray Miss Monroe as a diminutive yet zaftig ballerina in mid-pirouette.

photo by Philippe Halsman

Watch the MOBA Curator talk about this painting.

Presidential Coiffure
Emma Donaldson
Acrylic on canvas, 20" x 16"
Donated by the artist
July 2018

President Donald Trump and Dear Respected Comrade Kim Jong Un are both known for their distinctive hairstyles. The artist portrayed them with similar hairdos in this double portrait. Perhaps she was influenced by another work in the MOBA collection: Coulda Been Marilyn Today

Coulda Been Marilyn Today
Roger Hanson




Nelson F. Muntz
Milton Massie (1977)
Oil on canvas, 30" x 22"
Purchased in a thrift store in Cincinnati, OH and donated by Bob Mousaian
March, 2009

At first glance this appears to be a portrait of Mr. Nelson F. Muntz, a civic, church, social, fraternal and leader painted by a Milton Massie in 1977. MOBA curators believe it may actually be a portrait of President George H. W. Bush, who served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from January 30, 1976 to January 20, 1977 and may have used Nelson F. Muntz as a clandestine alias.

There is a character named Nelson Muntz in the Simpsons TV show; he is a bully, former nemesis and later a friend of Bart.

What, Me Worry About Time?
Oil on canvas, 28" x 14"
Purchased at a thrift store in Boston, MA
August 2018

The curators have been scratching their heads looking for meaning in this vexing image. It is clearly a portrait of President George W Bush, but recognize the likeness to his kindred spirit: Alfred E. Newman.

President Kennedy Eating Ice Cream
Print on canvas, 20" x 16"
Anonymous donation
September 2008

This image was inspired by a delightful photograph of President Kennedy aboard the yacht "Honey Fitz", by White House photographer Cecil Stoughton.

By eliminating the background information and focusing on the president's face, the artist may have created the most repugnant image of one of the most photogenic political leaders the world has ever known.

The Reagans and Bushes
Oil on canvas, 40" x 30"
Purchased at a thrift store in Sterling, VA and donated by J. Adam Jackson, Judy Iovanna, and David Golder
May 2020

This is a formal, yet casual portrait of 2 first families. So casual, it appears President Bush may have slept in his suit.

This may have been part of a triptych. The MOBA Research Department discovered the inspiration for the painting, and hopes to find companion canvasses including the likenesses of Mrs. Johnson, President and Mrs. Carter, President and Mrs. Ford, and President and Mrs. Nixon.

Opening ceremony of the Reagan Presidential Library
November 4, 1991

Joan Crawford
Pastel on paper, 14” x 10"
Donated by the artist from Allentown, PA

Bowshi takes full advantage of pastel crayon's tendency to smear around Mommie Dearest's mouth, inadvertently erasing a bit of her nose.  The artist achieves, intentionally or otherwise, a wonderful synthesis of two of the Silver Screen’s most cherished icons: Ms Crawford and Andre the Giant.

Green Jimi
(Excuse Me While I Kiss This Guy)
Acrylic on canvas board, 14" x 11"
Purchased at a thrift shop in Boston, MA
March 2018

Jimi Hendrix was famous for playing the blues. In this portrait he is either green with envy or suffering from hypochromic anemia.

Man in the Mirror?
Geraldine "Jere" Deuro, 2009
Oil on canvas, 16" x 12"
Donated by Jason Deuro
August 2010

His eyes closed and long hair blowing in a wind-machine generated hurricane, the late Michael Jackson exudes emotion in this lovingly executed portrait. It is difficult to ascertain which, or whose, hand is holding the microphone in this heartfelt performance.

Oil on canvas, 20" x 16”
Liberated from the Boston Center for Adult Education and donated by Peg Tully and Jim Pintar
October 2018

This poor trait of the Michael Jackson is notable for his vacuous orifi.

La Familia Garzón
Oil on canvas, 16” x 22"
Purchased at a flea market in Bogotá, Colombia
March, 2011

The MOBA Curator-in-Chief spotted this interestingly rendered family portrait in a busy outdoor flea market, and later found the name Jaime Garzón written on the back. Señor Garzón was a popular Colombian humorist, television personality, and political activist who was brutally murdered while driving to work in Bogotá in 1999.  His murder has never been solved.

To Life
Mark Gewiss (1993)
Oil on pine board, 12" x 9.5”
Purchased at a thrift store in Boston, MA
December 2005

In this homage to the work of Edvard Munch, the subject, looking like William S. Burroughs with Sponge Bob Square Pants' body, throws up his hands and screams "L'chiam!" before enjoying his naked lunch.



Steve Reeves as Hercules
Alain (2019)
Oil on canvas, 18" x 24"
Purchased at a charity shop in Melbourne, Australia and donated by Michael Wood
August 2021

Before Arnold the Terminator and Lou the Incredible Hulk, there was Steve Reeves as Hercules.

He was not related to George Reeves, who played Superman on television from 1952-1958, or Christopher Reeve, who played Superman in four movies from 1978-1987.

Steve Reeves in Hercules Unchained (1959)   George Reeves

Chrisopher Reeves


Captains of Industry
Ron Seitler
Oil on canvas, 32” x 26”
Purchased at a flea market in Stuart, FL
March 2023

Thomas Edison and Henry Ford are set in stone. A family of sparrows has moved into the auto tycoon’s hat, which has been replaced on his head by one of the inventor’s lightbulbs containing an orange, while a Luddite who prefers to remain anonymous researches the situation on his vintage green 1999 iMac.

Nikola Tesla
L’Dane Ember
Acrylic on canvas, 20" x 16"
Purchased at a flea market in Jensen Beach, FL
February 2023

Among Nikola Tesla’s contributions to modern life are alternating current, medical X-rays, radio, hydroelectric power, neon lights, remote control devices and the bubble wand. He avoided eating meat but was, apparently, fond of boiled seafood. While he was known to wear traditional Albanian clothing, there are no photographs of him wearing a tutu.

Portrait of the Artist as a Blue Man
Acrylic on pine board, 12"x7.5”
Purchased at a thrift shop in Boston, MA
June 2007

James Joyce is depicted in a realistic, if slightly hydrocephalic, manner against a psychedelic background. His bow tie appears to be an afterthought.

From: Museum of Bad Art: Masterworks, by Michael Frank and Louise Reilly Sacco