The walls of the museum are a mix of this gaudy commercial art, which Thompson says he sells just to get by, and the museum’s permanent collection, an astounding mix of masks and sculptures from Africa and Papua New Guinea, posters, photographs, newspaper clippings, ceramics, old fliers, photos, and a good deal of “outsider art” made by people Thompson himself discovered. He takes a small painting down from the wall. “I met this junkie about 20 years ago,” he says. “I was on the street and she asked me for a dollar. I said, ‘You need to get a job!’ and she said, ‘Will you give me one?’ I gave her my card and sure enough she came by.” Thompson ended up buying two pieces of art from the woman. The piece in his hands—titled “A Hot Summer Day: braidin’, sippin’, chillin’,” by Steffanie Jackson—is a charming, colorful piece featuring abstracted rowhouses with papier-mâché figures projecting out from two-dimensional stoops. A woman braids a girl’s hair, another washes the steps. “Isn’t this beautiful?” Thompson says, hanging it reverently back on the wall.