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Artist And Owner Of San Antonio's Toilet Seat Museum Dies At 98

Toilet seat art, created by Barney Smith, at the Texas Truck Yard museum.
Courtesy of Texas Truck Yard
Toilet seat art, created by Barney Smith, at the Texas Truck Yard museum.

A former plumber turned business into pleasure with his toilet seat art museum in Alamo Heights.  

Barney Smith once fixed them and then he turned them into art.

A family Facebook posting confirms the death of the toilet seat artist. He died on Tuesday at age 98.

Hundreds of toilet seats decorated with all sorts of trinkets once hung in the garage- museum at his home.  They were decorated by theme.  There was one for every state in the U.S., some for sports teams, and some with the images of the famous.  

Some showed off his travels around the world, including the Today Show on NBC, The CBS Morning Show, The View, Montel and Rosy. He said he knew his art struck some as very strange.

“They think that I’ve lost my marbles, but I’ve got them back there on a toilet seat,” he said

He told TPR’s David Martin Davies he once did a custom Elvis toilet seat for a customer.

“He sent me an Elvis license plate and record of the guitar man and I put it here on this one.”

Each work of art was numbered, photographed and collected.  He estimated he spent 20 hours creating just one.  If you wanted a custom one, you had to bring him the materials.

There were some more historical items he collected, such as a piece of the space shuttle Challenger, dust from Mount St. Helen and a chunk from the Berlin Wall.

His collection is now on display at the Texas Truck Yard, a night spot in The Colony in the Dallas area.

Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at Brian@TPR.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi