CHICAGO — “Last Week Tonight” star John Oliver is sending his tongue-in-cheek “Masterpiece Gallery” of art to the Museum of Broadcast Communications after the River North museum won a contest aimed at helping small institutions.
That means local fans of the HBO show can see in person his painting of talk show host Wendy Williams eating a lamb chop, rat erotica and more from Oct. 5-26.
The museum at 360 N. State St. is one of five chosen to display the art, which Oliver’s show collected to support local museums. The broadcast museum will also get $10,000, as will the Greater Chicago Food Depository, the charity it selected.
In a video posted to the museum’s Facebook page, Oliver spoke directly to Chicagoans who may see the art. “Hello, there Chicago,” Oliver said in the video. “This gorgeous collection of art is coming to your town.”
The competition began in 2020 as a part of a segment of Oliver’s show in which he discussed how the pandemic has negatively affected small museums. Oliver called for submissions from small museums to compete for pieces from his personal Masterpiece Gallery collection.
The Museum of Broadcast Communications submitted a video detailing the power of broadcast to communicate important stories and positively influence audiences.
“We are grateful to John Oliver and his staff for this incredible — and fun — honor,” Museum Executive Director Susy Schultz said. “We wrote a compelling letter, and our team went all out in our video entry. We also appreciated having the star power of Svengoolie (Rich Koz) and Jim Roche, who helped us make our sometimes silly and very compelling case in the video pitch for why the Museum deserves this honor.”
In addition to the art display, museum visitors will be able to enjoy new exhibits when the museum reopens Oct. 5.
As the Museum of Broadcast Communications has free admission beginning this year, tickets are not required. The museum does ask those able to, to donate boxed or canned food to the Greater Chicago Food Depository to view Oliver’s art while it’s in Chicago.
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