Maryellis Bunn is thrilled.
The fourth branch of her brainchild Museum of Ice Cream is set to open December 13 in Miami, and with it comes a new array of whimsical experiences that promise to provide a fresh experience apart from the previous three branches.
“We continue to refine and perfect our processes,” says Bunn, who is co-founder and designer and goes by the moniker “Scream” among her staff. “I cannot wait to share the latest evolution of the Museum of Ice Cream.”
The museum – which is not so much museum, per se, as brightly colored and playfully styled homage to all things ice cream – has been an instant hit in its locations in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco – as ticket sales and Instagram posts demonstrate. As of late November, there were more than 100,000 posts under #museumoficecream, even ones by Katy Perry buried to her ears in a giant bin of “sprinkles” and Gwyneth Paltrow with her family attending on Mother’s Day. Both visited the Los Angeles branch. New York’s 45-day run (and a reported 30,000 tickets) sold out in five days. Los Angeles and San Francisco sold out even faster.
The Instagram posters and participants in the museum “experience” form a sort of a bond, knit together by Instagram posts (“I was there”) and the fleeting, exclusive nature of each of the museum branches, which are operated as pop-ups in vacant buildings for limited runs. In other words, you had to be there.
That resonates especially with Bunn. “I am most proud of the Museum of Ice Cream community,” she says.
The museum experience is a celebration in vibrant color and images, akin to real-world trip through Willy Wonka’s world, a fantastical backdrop of gobstopping props geared for Instagram enthusiasts. Scores of bananas in yellow and pink hang from the ceiling in one room. Giant “ice pops” in bright orange, blue, green and red project from the walls in another room as do giant “push-ups” in still another space. And on one wall hang an array of pink pay telephones. Yes, pink is a major color motif, not only in décor but in staff uniforms. The design of each installation, which number about 10 per branch, follow the broad theme of giant ice cream treats and accoutrements (like giant cherries) in rainbow colors, but Bunn has varied the details with each new branch and nuanced them to reflect some aspect of each host city.
“My design process allows for continual evolution,” she says.
Aside from loving ice cream, Bunn, a native of Laguna Beach, California, grew up with dreams of swimming in a sea of sprinkles, among other indulgent frozen fantasies. That led to one of the most popular of the museum’s installations, the Sprinkle Pool, which, when full, contains 100 million biodegradable sprinkles poised for “bathers” to take a “dip.”
One theme that runs through all the museum branches – which is evident on even a casual glance through Instagram posts – is universal smiles.
“One of my favorite parts of the museum,” Bunn says, “is watching our visitors leave the outside wolrd behind and embrace the fun.”
The first branch, in New York, opened in summer 2016 and is now closed. The Los Angeles and San Francisco branches are sold out, though still admitting ticket holders. Tickets to the Miami branch, at $38 each and sold only in advance, are available now.
Corporate sponsors include Dove chocolate, American Express and Design Within Reach, which has placed an assortment of iconic furniture in each location. Along with Eames Shell Chairs, Saarinen Oval Dining Tables and a number of other pieces, visitors (at least those lucky enough to score a ticket) will find coupons for special savings at any DWR location or on the web.
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The @museumoficecream is where ALL the #flashesofdelight live (swipe to see more). Everything was so cute and cheeky. Particularly loved the pink everywhere and even found little bits of magic on the floor and in the scattering of some chairs. They had all the details down. Not the biggest or most engaging space for a toddler but it was definitely charming! Talie loved the pinwheels, the jukebox, and the unicorn. ✨💕🌟 #flashesofdelight #museumoficecream #millenialpink #thatsdarling #mysf