National Art Museum of Sport at Indiana University

The close bond between art and sport is an enduring one, and from it has sprung a rich bounty of memorable images across the ages.

The word sportヤ embraces a wide range of activities we turn to to leave behind the toils and troubles of daily life in search of pleasure, exercise, and spirited competition.

Sport art helps us understand our emotional relation to sport, and of sport to life: the anxiety of competition, the joy of winning, the agony of defeat. Sport art also depicts internal conflict: the pitting of honor and sportsmanship versus the desire to win, or the struggle to maintain resolve in the face of overwhelming odds, pain, and fatigue. Finally, sport art connects us with our history and allows us to witness famous events in which famous athletes made time stand still. All of us are personally and vicariously acquainted with such experiences in our forays into sport. Good art gives us new ways of seeing these things in others, and thus offers insights into ourselves.

Whether one thinks of the athletic contests portrayed in Greek vase painting and sculpture, the epic hunts that form the subjects of so many great medieval tapestries and manuscript pages, or the elegant horse-racing scenes of Edgar Degas, depicting sport has inspired artists across the millennia to some of their finest achievements. In America, a country celebrated for hard work and hard play, sport art has had an especially vigorous history, and it is fitting that we should celebrate it with a national museum devoted to the subject. Many of our best artists Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, and George Bellowswere active sportsmen themselves and counted among their friends leading athletes, fishermen, and hunters. For them, as for many others, the multifaceted drama of sport was both a challenge and inspiration, the generating force that sparked unforgettable works.

Place Categories: Art Museum and Sculpture ParkPlace Tags: fiber, illustration, paintings, Photography, printmaking and sculptures

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