The Cartoon Museum in San Francisco hosts paintings from “This Week Tonight With John Oliver”


If you’re a fan of ties, Wendy Williams, or lewd rodent depictions, the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco will be your haunt for most of January.

From Tuesday until January 25, the museum will house “The Last Week Tonight Masterpiece Gallery,” TV host John Oliver’s traveling exhibition of three paintings featured prominently on his weekly HBO show.

One of the paintings shows talk show host Wendy Williams looking directly out of the picture frame while gently holding what appears to be a lamb chop in one hand, seemingly ready to give it a bite.

Another is a still life of men’s ties cascading over what could be a small chest or some sort of suitcase painted by Judy Kudlow, wife of Fox Business Network host Larry Kudlow, according to a press release from the museum. .

The third piece, Stay Up Late, is a painting by Pennsylvania-based artist Brian Swords, which features “two anthropomorphized rats engaged in an act that inspired Oliver to proclaim the piece ‘high quality rat eroticism,'” according to the museum.

The Cartoon Art Museum is the last of five small museums across the country to host the exhibit, which was also on display at the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago.

Oliver announced the open application process for his show several months ago and encouraged small museums heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to throw their hats in the ring for a chance to host art, as well. than to receive a grant of $ 10,000.

“In a typical year we probably have 15,000 visitors,” said museum curator Andrew Farago. “The past year has by no means been typical. “

In addition to the art and the grant, Oliver mentioned museums on his show and advertised the locations on social media.

As a bonus, organizers also selected nonprofit groups in museum communities to receive an additional $ 10,000 – the San Francisco-Marin food bank making the cut locally.

“I want people to see a museum visit as a fun experience and if this (exhibition) inspires them, if it makes them go home and grab a brush or sit with a pen and paper and think big.” , We are delighted if this is the result here, ”said Farago.

“Seeing these images on my TV, and then seeing them up close, I have a whole new appreciation for what went into creating these pieces,” he said.

The museum is located at 781 Beach St. in San Francisco, about a block from Ghirardelli Square.

It is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Wednesday. General admission tickets cost $ 10, $ 7 for residents of San Francisco, $ 6 for students, military, and educators, $ 4 for children ages 6 to 12, and free for younger ones.


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