A UK Museum Challenged Bored Curators Around the World to Find Art History’s ‘Best Bums.’ See Their Cheeky Responses Here

Museums all over the world submitted their finest fannies.

Clockwise, from top left: A Roman marble statuette, courtesy of the Yorkshire Museum; a sculpture by Francesco Pomarano, courtesy of the Wallace Collection; Henry Scott Tuke, The Blue Jacket, courtesy of the Hudds Art Gallery; Meila Kairiūkštytė-Balkus, Elena I, courtesy of the M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art; a painting by William Etty, courtesy of the Scarborough Museums; courtesy of Castle Howard; a sculpture by Pamela Mei Yee Leung, courtesy of the York Art Gallery.

Three months ago, the Yorkshire Museum went viral when it challenged fellow museums to share the creepiest objects in their collections. Things got weird, fast.

Now, the small UK institution with outsize social-media influence has thrown down another gauntlet. And it’s decidedly… flashier. 

For its weekly #CURATORBATTLE series in late June, the venue put out a call for the “Best Museum Bum.” Setting the example, they shared a picture of a Roman marble statuette depicting “an athlete at the peak of fitness.”

The butt? Decent, for sure. But then institutions around the world took a crack in an attempt to up the ante. 

The results, predictably, were all over the board. For every fine fanny there was a heinous heinie. For every classy ass, a humble bum. For every cute glute—well, you get the idea.

A UK Abbey submitted a sensuous male nude with cushy tush by English artist William Etty, while the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford contributed a statue of Zeus bearing a behind befitting a god.  

Others were cheekier. The Ukiyo-e Ōta Memorial Museum of Art in Japan weighed in with a Sumo rear courtesy of Hokusai and the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma shared a bodacious Botero.

Others were just plain ASS-inine. A medieval bull relieving himself and a stooped-over trout with legs? Come on. 


The Yorkshire Museum’s #CURATORBATTLE series has been a huge hit since it launched in March to foster a sense of community among shuttered arts and culture institutions. Previous challenges include calls for mysterious objects, best dogs, and interesting interiors. 

This week’s (more modest) theme is “#TremendousTransport.”

Us, though, we’re still stuck on those derrières. See more funny buns below.  












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