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

A photo of actress Michele Morgan, circa 1939, submitted by the Fashion and Textile Museum as part of the online Curator Battle. FashionTextile / Twitter
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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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