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Butts of the Met

By Rebecca Pahle | Miscellaneous | September 23, 2016 |

By Rebecca Pahle | Miscellaneous | September 23, 2016 |

Since the dawn of mankind, humans have sought to express the intricacies of the human condition—our pain, our goals, our secret yearnings—through the medium of art. It’s possible to spend all one’s life studying art and yet barely scratch its surface. Such is its enormity. Its profundity. Scholars have penned countless books on its history and theory; others have pored over those books, attempting to understand some small corner of what Picasso once called “the lie that enables us to realize the truth.”

I am not one of those people.

I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and took pictures of butts.

The people’s art critic, y’all.


The plaque tells me this statue hails from the Neolithic era and “represents a rare type known as a steatopygous.” Merriam-Webster, in turns, tells me “steatopygous” means “an excessive development of fat on the buttocks that occurs chiefly among women of some African peoples and especially the Khoisan.” This will be on the test. Sir Mix-a-Lot just sprung a boner and doesn’t know why.


This ass belongs to Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love, who spent all her time teasing her hair to Dolly Parton heights and shopping for pink lingerie at Victoria’s Secret. That is, unless Xena: Warrior Princess lied to me. What’s next? You gonna tell me Cupid isn’t surfer dude Judge Dredd?


Next up in Greek mythology we have the Herculass, which benefits from the “one foot slightly in front of the other” pose that so many classical statues rocked. Cleaning up the Augean Stables really must have been a glute workout.


How are you going to be called Emperor Bony Anus when you have a bubble butt like that? Sorry, sorry. Emperor Trebonianus Gallus. Guy probably had a great time of things in middle school.


Strolling through the Met, walking through a doorway and being greeted with this exact view of Antonio Canova’s statue of Perseus is one of New York’s greatest pleasures. The Empire what building? I feel spiritually changed. Why is this not in more guidebooks? Put some pants on before you ride Pegasus, though, dude. Peggy doesn’t need that.


A firm yet supple tuchus from Hermes. 8.5/10.


God himself approves of this shapely rear on Frederick Wellington Ruckstull’s “Evening.”


The front pose of “The Falling Gladiator” is absurdly dramatic. I like to think he just heard Apple is removing the headphone jack from the iPhone 7.


Who knew being a “Bohemian Bear Tamer” (the title of this piece) involved so much clenching?


Pause for self-portrait.


Pause because did we know Peter Sarsgaard is a time traveller?


What the fuck is this? I didn’t take three trains for this weak-ass weak ass. Don’t give me a come hither porn pose unless you’ve earned it. Also, I don’t know what was going on in sculptor George Grey Barnard’s life and/or psyche, but both men in this statue have very puffy nipples.




And here’s sculptor Erastus Dow Palmer being all demure. Perseus can hunt Medusa in the buck-ass nude with all his bits hanging out, but this woman who’s just standing around needs a blanket? Please.


Cosimo I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, or George Clooney in Batman & Robin?


Don’t fuck statues, no matter how good their asses are. I can’t believe we have to go over this.


Rodin is now my favorite classical sculptor. Adam apparently had a lot of time for squats back before Eve ate the apple, huh?