Published: July 5, 2016
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The Brooklyn Museum will present “Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present,” on view July 15–January 8, in the most comprehensive survey of the art of sports photography produced, highlighting the aesthetic, cultural, and historical significance of these images and artists in the history of sports.
The exhibition includes approximately 230 photographs by more than 170 photographers ranging from daguerreotypes and salted paper prints to more than 220 digital images showcasing a variety of different sports from nations around the globe.
“Who Shot Sports” includes work by Richard Avedon, Al Bello, David Burnett, Rich Clarkson, Georges Demeny, Dr Harold Edgerton, Rineke Dijkstra, Brian Finke, Toni Frissell, Ken Geiger, LeRoy Grannis, David Guttenfelder, Ernst Haas, Charles “Teenie” Harris, Walter Iooss Jr, Heinz Kleutmeier, Stanley Kubrick, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Neil Leifer, Étienne-Jules Marey, Bob Martin, Martin Munkacsi, Edward Muybridge, Catherine Opie, Leni Reifenstahl, Robert Riger, Alexander Rodchenko, Howard Schatz, Flip Schulke, George Silk, Barton Silverman, Andy Warhol and many others whose pictures may be celebrated but whose names are unknown.
The exhibition is organized by the Brooklyn Museum and Gail Buckland, who returns as guest curator after the seminal 2009 exhibition “Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present.”
“Sports are beauty in motion with a powerful competitive edge. The ancient Greeks celebrated their athletes, and the finest artists of antiquity preserved those athletes’ achievements. Today, it is the photographers who give sports its indelible image,” said Buckland. “Seeing athletic greatness, we both recognize our personal physical limitations and delight in bodies and minds taken to new heights. To play and to watch is to be in the moment. Still photographers are masters of moments.”
The exhibition is being presented in thematic sections exploring different subjects within the field, including: The Beginnings of Sports Photography, which features an early salted paper portrait from 1843 of a court tennis player by masters David Octavius Hill (Scottish, 1802–1870) and Robert Adamson (Scottish, 1821–848); The Decisive Moment, including Henri Cartier-Bresson’s image of a cycling race; Fans and Followers; Portraits; Off the Field; Vantage Point; In and Out of the Ring; For the Love of Sport; and The Olympics, featuring images from the first modern Olympics in 1896 to the London Olympics in 2012.
“Who Shot Sports” will travel to the Grand Rapids Art Museum February 3–April 30; the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland May 26–December 10, and other venues to be announced.
A companion book of the same title, published by Alfred A. Knopf, accompanies the exhibition.
The museum is at 200 Eastern Parkway. For information, www.brooklynmuseum.org or 718-638-5000.
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