A Place for your Childhood Dreams: Museum of Ice Cream
Pink walls, neon rooms, sprinkle pools, banana swings, melting ice-creams and pink mirrors… I am not talking about Alice in Wonderland or Hansel and Gretel story; I am rather talking about a real 21st century museum. As the name suggests, the Museum of Ice Cream (MOIC) offers a world that is as cheerful and as colourful as ice-cream! In this vibrant and surreal museum, Instagram lovers’ and the millennium generation’s expectations and your wildest childhood dreams are coming true.
Museum of Ice Cream takes its name and theme from ice-cream. It consists of different rooms, each of which presents a different ice-creme themed art installation. The museum opened its doors firstly in 2016 in New York, followed by other venues in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami respectively, and since then it has been visited by over a million people. Different venues house different exhibits, but you can expect to see two common things in all places; colourful rooms and delicious ice-cream servings.
In every neon and pastel room that you enter, you see an interactive installation. Here, every room is filled with people taking photos at every corner. These places are not only a product of a creative mind, but they are also very sensual. The cone room, melting ice-cream room, banana swing, mirrored room and sprinkle pool are of Instagram-lovers’ favourites.
The Museum of Ice Cream has no permanent building or collection. It stands out as a distinctive example of pop-up museums. Pop-up museum refers to a contemporary concept which goes beyond our conventional understanding of museums. These museums have no special mission to foster learning or research, but rather they function as temporary sites where you casually drop by and say ‘’let’s take a photo here.’’ Focusing on enjoyment and imagination, the Museum of Ice cream is like a pop-up screen; it opens in different locations and places on a changing basis. Accordingly, the museum targets Instagram and social media lovers, encourages them to take selfies and pictures and share on social media platforms.
You can buy tickets online. The entry ticket costs 28 dollars and includes a museum tour, all selfies and pictures taken inside of rooms, and of course, ice-cream tastings. I should note that tickets sell very fast and lead to a long waiting list. One example is the New York Museum, whose tickets are sold out in 3 days and caused a 200.000 people waiting list.
Celebrities are of museum visitors; Katy Perry, Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow are of famous names who visited the MOIC in the past. Thinking of the popularity of the museum, one question comes to mind: how did this museum start? It was founded by 28-year old Mary Ellis Bunn and her business partner Manish Mora. The partners wanted to open a new place in New York. Their aim was to create an experimental space that could inspire the millennium generation. When they thought about what could interest the Instagram and social media generation most, they found the answer: ice-cream!
Marry Ellis, who is also current creative director of the museum says ‘’I designed all rooms by myself. While doing this, I took an inspiration from my childhood dreams. I spent my childhood by the ocean and then I was imagining swimming in an ocean full of sprinkles.’’ Thinking from this perspective, it is not a coincidence to see a sprinkle pool in every different location of the museum. Another interesting feature about the MOIC is that it has many corporate partners including American Express and Tinder. Plus, every flavor of ice-cream served in the museum is donated by local or international ice-cream brands.
Museum of Ice Cream has had 4 pop-up branches so far. The first New York branch was opened in August 2016 in a 5.000 sq metre space in Manhattan. The second one is opened in the Arts District of Los Angeles. The third met its visitors in San Francisco, in a Neo-Classic building from 1911. The last branch was opened in Miami in a retro building located in the Faelo District. San Francisco and Miami branches will remain open until May 2018 and April 2018 respectively. In summer 2018, the Museum of Ice Cream will move to new pop-up buildings. New locations and opening times will be announced in upcoming days.