Museums get up to some very interesting and weird things on social media. The Yorkshire Museum launched a worldwide battle between curators on June 26 to see which museum has the very best behind (or derrière if you want to sound all fancy) in its collection. The Yorkshire Museum started the challenge off with a photo of a Roman marble statuette of an athlete who has a chunk missing from his bum.
Plenty of other museums took up the challenge and posted their own works of art. Lee Clark, the York Museums Trust communications manager told Bored Panda that the challenge is still ongoing and the winner still hasn’t been picked yet! Scroll down for our full chat with Lee, upvote your fave pics, and let us know in the comments below which museum’s work of art deserves to be the winner of the #BestMuseumBum challenge! Let the games… begin!
The Yorkshire Museum, which is in England, launches a #CURATORSBATTLE every Friday. When you’re done enjoying the works of art in this list, Bored Panda invites you to have a look through our previous post about museums battling over who has the creepiest exhibit. And if you think that this type of content is awesome, you can always support the York Museums Trust (check out the 'Donate' link).
Lee told us that museums from all over the world have taken part and in the UK, BBC Radio Four and Five Live covered the story, alongside media outlets around the country (and the world). Meanwhile, the Yorkshire Museum’s post has had 65k engagements, with over 300k people having seen the original tweet.
“There have been some fantastic suggestions of great behinds, with some museums getting very creative!” Lee said.
Bored Panda wanted to know whose brainchild the curator battles were. Lee said, “Curator Battle is very much a team effort—with members of the Communications, Digital, Public Engagement, and Curatorial meeting every week to discuss our social media output, including the themes for the battles.”
He continued: “The curators know our collections really well, so they suggest brilliant objects we know we have great images of and then we think of themes which they could be included in.”
According to Lee, they try to keep the themes as wide as possible so that as many museums as possible can take part in the weekly challenges.
“Essentially, we want to create an online exhibition of objects from around the world under a given theme. Something like this would take years to plan for a physical exhibition, but on Twitter, it can appear in a few hours or days!”
Lee from the York Museums Trust confirmed to Bored Panda that the Yorkshire Museum is still not open. “But we have announced we are opening our other venues, York Art Gallery and York Castle Museum on August 1. The Yorkshire Museum will remain closed for the time being to allow us to focus on putting in place our plans to ensure the safety of our staff and visitors at the gallery and castle museum. Details of our opening days and times, how to book tickets online, and further information about your visit will be released shortly.”
The weekly curator battle for the best bum got more than 1.7k likes and over 800 retweets, as museums from all over the globe pitched in with what they thought was the best candidate to win the challenge.
Some of these are absolutely fantastic works of art while others are a bit strange. We were also surprised to see so many animal bottoms make an appearance (the bumblebee is our favorite but don’t let that affect your voting!).
The York Museums Trust said that they’d been running the curators battles throughout the Covid-19 lockdown in the United Kingdom and they’ve become very popular.
“It is a chance for museums big and small to share their objects under a given theme to create what essentially become global online exhibitions,” a spokesperson for the YMT said.
“We have run a variety of different themes over the weeks but best museum bums is proving one of the most popular yet—it’s great to see museums around the world sharing their cheekiest objects,” the representative quipped.
Millicent Carroll, digital engagement officer for the York Museums Trust which runs the Yorkshire Museum, previously told Bored Panda: "The curator battle has been gradually building as more and more museums and the general public look at our Twitter feed every Friday to see what theme we're going to pitch."
She pointed out that it's great for museums to still be able to share their collections with the public online, even while their doors were still closed during the coronavirus quarantine.
Carroll said it is great for museums to be able to still share their collections with the public when their doors are closed. The Yorkshire Museum Trust had previously been forced to close all of the museums it runs, including the Yorkshire Museum. "We have lost 70% of our income, as most of it comes from visitor admissions," communications manager for the trust, Lee, previously said.