Moody sculptures to side-eyeing prints: Are these the world's sassiest artworks?

The second round of UK museum's popular online Curator Battle asks for artworks with attitude

The curators are at it again. Following last week's first Curator Battle – an online challenge from the Yorkshire Museum that asked museum professionals to share objects from their collection based on a theme – the second round kicked off on Friday with the task of finding the #SassiestObject.

Yorkshire Museum’s submission set the tone: a bust of Constantine the Great, the acclaimed Roman Emperor who reunited the empire and named the capital after himself (now modern-day Istanbul).

“He knows he’s worth it. Can you beat it?”, wrote the museum in a Tweet.

The Natural Sciences Museum in Edinburgh delivered their own sass in the form of an bulbous ocean sunfish with a particular expression that, according to the museum, says, “Talk the fin, pal”.

A curator from the London’s Science Museum under the username @Punk_Science shared a chaotic display of an albino peacock with a cat leaping over it.

Another highlight came from the Fashion and Textile Museum in London with a photo of French actress Michele Morgan dramatically walking dog statues in a tailored outfit. “Does she have real dogs to walk? No. Does she care? Also no,” said the museum.

The Ota Memorial Museum of Art in Tokyo shared ukiyo-e, a type of art produced on woodblock prints displaying scenes from Japanese culture, including landscapes and figures such as theatre actors and courtesans. The museum’s pick depicts a female courtesan in an elaborate kimono with bird print.

The rest of the submissions for the Curator Battle ranged from a stuffed kangaroo, marble busts, regal portraits, swords, fashion accessories and a Salvador Dali sculpture-cum-sofa of Mae West's lips.

Yorkshire Museum’s first online challenge last week focused on creepiest objects, and was created as a way to keep museums connected to audiences despite closures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Museums in the UK and around the world remain shuttered as countries are dealing with rising coronavirus cases, which has now reached 2.8 million globally at the time of writing.

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