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Quirky Museums: The Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD)

We resume our series highlighting quirky museums around the world; we are putting the spotlight on Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.

Brooklyn, NY: Twin City, Coney Island, modern renaissance, botanic gardens, flea markets, colonial buildings, breathtaking monuments, all marked by being a part of the ‘Greatest City in the World’. The third most populated city in the U.S. is famous for its cultural diversity and industrialization, yet many people travel there to experience the artistic revolution taking place. Though Brooklyn is home to many renowned museums, there is a newcomer who hopes to introduce people to the importance of the culinary arts.

MOFAD by Tantrum Agency (2020).

Like all revolutionary museums, the MOFAD first started out as a simple idea. Dave Arnold, culinary blogger and founder, thought that there should be a museum dedicated to food sciences and history because of its sociological importance. So, he began working to make his idea a reality in 2005. Though it wasn’t until 2011 that he began raising funds for the project by pitching at fundraisers for the arts. In 2013, MOFAD featured its debut exhibition ‘BOOM!’, a cereal puffing gun from the 1930’s that toured around New York city and was featured in the Wall Street Journal. The exhibition made history as the first kickstarter campaign to raise over $100,000 in funding for a museum. This allowed MOFAD to fund a mobile museum that would later raise much needed awareness for them to establish a long term physical location.

Inside MOFAD by Brooklyn Magazine (2015).

By 2015, MOFAD gained its first high profile sponsor, Infiniti, who helped the museum rent a gallery in the Williamsburg neighborhood to showcase an upcoming series of exhibitions—MOFAD Lab was born! ‘Flavor: Making it and Faking it’ is the gallery’s debut exhibition and it made quite the splash with its interactive and edible elements. A year and two exhibitions later, the museum's curators launched MOFAD City, a series of digital exhibitions that feature the history of the food culture in major U.S. cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami. When the pandemic came around, this series of virtual exhibitions allowed them to easily segway their other projects into digitally interactive pieces which enabled their audience and them to grow at a faster rate.

Even though MOFAD is now back to hosting in-person exhibitions, they still use the success of their virtual exhibitions to reach larger audiences by creating more. If you would like to check out any of their pieces or learn more about their projects, we encourage you to visit their website: Perhaps you’ll find them just as innovative as we did.


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