Artist Cynthia Consentino’s “The Women’s Room” (2005) at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin (courtesy the John Michael Kohler Arts Center)
There are many reasons to bemoan the decline of the chain bookstore, not least of which is the loss of easily identifiable venues for decent public restrooms. With this precious resource siphoned from society, we are collectively more bereft of culture and utilities in one tidy package. But wait! A recent poll by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) asked museum professionals to submit their nominations for best museum bathrooms, and the results prove that Marcel Duchamp was only the first, but not the last, to find art in the commode. Joseph O’Neill, a content manager and editor for the AAM, dutifully compiled the results.
“Every month, we put out questions for museum people to connect
around, and we were surprised as anyone to find out how much enthusiasm there
is for this fun topic,” O’Neil told Hyperallergic. “But the responses we’ve
gotten suggest bathrooms might be an underappreciated part of the visitor
experience when it comes to belonging, inspiration, accessibility, and even