Museum Month: Pizza Brain, Philadelphia’s Pizza Museum

The world’s largest collection of pizza memorabilia will soon be housed in an unlikely home – not Italy, or New York or even Connecticut, but in Philadelphia, a city better known for its hoagies and its cheesesteaks than its ‘za.

But thanks to 27-year-old Brian Dwyer, the Guinness World Record holder of pizza memorabilia, the dream to open a pizza-themed museum will become a reality late this spring or early this summer at Pizza Brain, the world’s first museum dedicated to Pizza.

As might be expected, the museum will also function as a restaurant serving, you guessed it, pizza.

The idea came about somewhat virally, as many do these days – Dwyer and friends had rousing success at an art gallery event in 2010 titled “Give Pizza a Chance,” which drew a crowd of more than 300.

“When I started down this road, I said, I want to be able to display all this stuff in a pizzeria,” Dwyer told The Huffington Post. “And I thought at first that when we open, I’ll make this funny bold claim that we had the biggest pizza memorabilia collection on the Eastern Seaboard, or maybe in America. As I started joking about that, my friend was like, ‘Dude, you should see who actually has the biggest.’ I assumed somebody had done this. So I did that: I typed in all sorts of search phrases into Google trying to find the biggest collection, and nothing came up. I was shocked. So I contacted Guinness, started going through all the regular channels, and got the record in July.”

And thus the museum began, and thus it will open, in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood, the same area that once housed his art show. Thanks to Internet-based Kickstarter, Dwyer and partners have raised $16,587, more than their initial $15,000 goal.

What do you think? Would you visit this museum, if only to get a hot slice at the end of the night?