The U.S. Pizza Museum’s mission is to inspire curiosity and new ways of thinking about the rich history and recent developments in the world of pizza by collecting, preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting pizza-related items.
The U.S. Pizza Museum was founded in Chicago by Kendall Bruns in 2015. The collection made its public physical debut at the Chicago Pizza Summit at 1st Ward in Chop Shop on April 3, 2016 and stayed on display through April 4, 2016. Since the the U.S. Pizza Museum does not currently have a permanent physical home, it showcases select items from its collection online and in pop-up exhibitions.
For upcoming activities, visit our Events page.
U.S. Pizza Museum
Kendall Bruns, Founder and Curator
Heather Hughes, Event Planning
Molly McGown, Event Support
Carissa Remitz, PR
U.S. Pizza Museum
P.O. Box 3224
Chicago, IL 60654
Billy Bauer, Brett Boudart, Floyd A Davis IV, Eric Garneau, Paulie Gee, Adeline Hocine, Jaime Knight, Kelly Kyle, Corrie Loeffler, Adam Melbert, Alan Metoskie, Nick Moretti, Sarah Neukom, Alex Nutkin, Stephanie Poquette, Kevin Reader, John Romans, Jessica Sisto, Anthony Spina, Justyna Syska, Sonja Tiberi, Anthony Todd, Elizabeth Tulipana, Derrick Tung, Jessica Wenson, Tanner Woodford
Okay, but what is this and why does it exist?
Hi, this is Kendall. Let me explain. In what is not an uncommon story, I have always loved pizza. It was my favorite food growing up. My first job was at a LaRosa’s Pizzeria in Cincinnati. When I co-founded a video production company in 2005 we named it Pizza Infinity. I’ve created artwork about pizza. Whenever an article like GQ Magazine’s “American Pie” list of what author Alan Richman considered the best 25 pizzas in America would come out I’d make it a point to try to visit every place and form my own opinions.
My obsession really kicked up to a higher level about five years ago when I started living in Chicago (a great pizza town regardless of your opinion on Chicago deep dish) and visiting New York city on a more regular basis with pizza discovery as a goal. The endless pizza information online—especially the amazing Serious Eats Slice website—and pizza books like Ed Levine’s Pizza: A Slice of Heaven and Peter Reinhart’s American Pie fueled a desire to examine pizza on a deeper level. I started documenting and collecting items during my visits. I began updating multiple pizza-related spreadsheets.
Somewhere along the line I starting thinking that I wished there was a pizza museum. As an art school graduate (emphasis in sculpture) and a young designer in Cincinnati I had worked with the Cincinnati Art Museum and more extensively with the Contemporary Arts Center, but a visit to the small New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum and watching the development and growth of the Chicago Design Museum is what really inspired me to revisit the idea of what a pizza museum could be.
For a while I was paralyzed by overambition—every creative person’s worst enemy. Then, in 2012 I started hearing about Pizza Brain in Philadelphia, the world’s first pizza museum and restaurant opened by the Guinness World Record holder for the largest pizza memorabilia collection, Brian Dwyer. It looked awesome. I didn’t need to open a pizza museum—one already existed.
Still, I kept collecting items and going on pizza trips to visit legendary places like Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, Al Forno in Providence and too many to mention in New Haven. I mourned the closing of Great Lake in Chicago. I wanted an outlet. Every major city has multiple art museums. Pizza deserves at least two.
For now, the U.S. Pizza Museum is a physical collection that can be viewed virtually with occasional pop-up exhibits. It’s a fun way for me to share my collection and experiences. There’s a lot more in the collection than what is posted online so stay tuned for updates. I hope you like it. Will there be a permanent physical U.S. Pizza Museum someday? Nobody knows!
If you’re interested in donating items to the U.S. Pizza Museum collection, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.