Niche Alert: When Your Museum Goes Bananas

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Continuing the trend of museum super-niche museums (recent entries like the Museum of Pizza, the Museum of Ice Cream and the Museum of Selfies in Hollywood come to mind), another curated curiosity is vying to put the “Um?” in “museum.” Welcome to The International Banana Museum in North Shore, California, which features more than 20,000 banana-themed exhibits.

The website for the fruitorium claims that “you will find every type [sic] banana related items you can possibly think of and even some you’ve never thought of!!!” — emphasis theirs. It’s not likely that one may catch a glimpse of an original Gaugin painting (the artist notoriously and consistently painted the bananas upside on their trees) but we can probably count on at least one Velvet Underground & Nico cover with its famed Warhol-designed banana cover, right? There’s also salt and pepper shakers, hangers, staplers, ties, compasses, pins, buttons, lotions, candles, toys, harmonicas, and other yellow-hued ephemera to numerous to mention. Of course, there’s also a bevy of banana-based comestibles including banana shakes and, naturally, “banana splits.”

“The central experience delivered at all these places is one of waiting,” lamented Amanda Hess writing for the New York Times about the long lines and congested spaces that defined recent, similar “museum” experiences for her. One might have to wait for The International Banana Museum as well since it’s only open seasonally. The fact that it doesn’t indicate which season could prove frustrating but given its relative proximity to Coachella and the valley’s annual Spring music festival, one can surmise that it’s likely open for business in April.

Interested parties can also call (619) 840-1429 to check (and fully expect their interlocutor to answer on a banana-shaped phone).


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“Museums are custodians of epiphanies, and these epiphanies enter the central nervous system and deep recesses of the mind,” said noted art director George Lois. It’s unlikely that he had the International Banana Museum in mind when he made the observation but if you’re the custodian of an epiphany that’s just as “aPEELing” as they say, please consider taking a look at our museum work and connect with us. We promise it won’t be on a banana phone.

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