96-Year-Old Man Has Spent 70 Years Making Artwork on Toilet Seats: 'That's My Hobby'
He stumbled upon his hobby as a plumber.
A 96-year-old man has spent most of his life making art on toilet seats, and has already decorated more than 1,300.
Barney Smith owns and operates Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas.
Smith has loved art since he was a child, but the idea of decorating toilet seats came to him while he was working as a plumber in the 1940s.
Nearly 70 years ago, Smith was at a plumbing supply house and realized that they just discarded the toilet seats. He spotted 50 of them lying on a dock to be thrown away, so he let the owners know he’d like to have some of them.
He went home and applied his art to one of the toilet seat covers that night, and a hobby was born.
“I stay busy day and night working on toilet seats,” Smith said in a video shared by OdeToTheCommode.com. “That’s my hobby.”
Smith has decorated 1,317 toilet seats since he began. He’s hoping that his work will live on long after him.
Smith, whose museum is still open daily, is hoping to sell his collection to someone that will keep the museum open and free for visitors.
Each one of Smith’s toilet seats has a story behind it, he says.
“I am hoping it will stay with America," Smith said. "I am hoping that they will take this and put this in a museum, and that folk art will not ever leave.”
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