This comprehensive, novel and exciting interdisciplinary collection brings together leading international authorities from the history of sport, social history, art history, film history, design history, cultural studies and related fields to explore the ways in which visual culture has shaped, and continues to impact upon, our understanding of sport as an integral element within popular culture. Visual representations of sport have previously been little examined and under-exploited by historians, with little focused and rigorous scrutiny of these vital historical documents. This study seeks to redress this balance by engaging with a wide variety of cultural products, ranging from sports stadia and monuments in the public arena, to paintings, prints, photographs, posters, stamps, design artefacts, films and political cartoons. By examining the contexts of both the production and reception of this historical evidence, and highlighting the multiple meanings and social significance of this body of work, the collection provides original, powerful and stimulating insights into the ways in which visual material assists our knowledge and understanding of sport.
This collection will facilitate researchers, publishers and others with an interest in sport to move beyond traditional text-based scholarship and appreciate the powerful imagery of sport in new ways.
This book was previously published as a special issue of the International Journal of the History of Sport.
Preface: New Agendas and New Questions for the History of Sport 1. Prologue: Extending Study of the Visual in the History of Sport 2. Imaging Sport at the Grosvenor School of Modern Art (1929–37) 3. Reading Photographic Portraits of Australian Women Cyclists in the 1890s: From Costume and Cycle Choices to Constructions of Feminine Identity 4. Enveloping the Past: Sport Stamps, Visuality and Museums 5. Pedal-Powered Avant-Gardes: Cycling Paintings in 1912–13 6. Stadiums: Architecture and the Iconography of the Beautiful Game 7. The Football Ground and Visual Culture: Recapturing Place, Memory and Meaning at Ayresome Park 8. ‘We Make a Big Effort to Bring Out the Ladies’: Visual Representations of Women in the Modern American Stadium 9. From Melbourne Cooper to Match of the Day and Mo-Cap: Motion as Metaphor and Metaphysics in Animated Sport 10. Contesting the Master Narrative: The Arthur Ashe Statue and Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia 11. Mapping America’s Sporting Landscape: A Case Study of Three Statues 12. The Palio Banner and the Visual Culture of Horse Racing in Renaissance Italy 13. Hasta la Victoria (Deportista) Siempre: Revolution, Art, and the Representation of Sport in Cuban Visual Culture 14. ‘Sport for Grown Children’: American Political Cartoons, 1790–1850 15. Liberation and Containment: Re-visualising the Eugenic and Evolutionary Ideal of the Fizkul’turnitsa in 1944 16. Seeing Your Way to Health: The Visual Pedagogy of Bess Mensendieck’s Physical Culture System 17. Sport and Spectatorship as Everyday Ritual in Ben Shahn’s Painting and Photography 18. Epilogue
Britain may have taught the world to play but, as Matthew Llewellyn argues in this excellent study, by the 1930s it had become a peripheral member of the international sporting community. One aspect of this was the reluctance of the British to follow other European nations and use the Olympic Games as a vehicle for the promotion of nationalism through sport. In this revisionist history, Llewellyn clearly demonstrates that the British affinity for the Olympics is a very recent phenomenon. He shows, via detailed analysis of archival and newspaper sources, that from its origins the British Olympic Association struggled unsuccessfully to interest either the government or the British public in the Olympic movement. This work will be a healthy corrective to the historical hyperbole associated with the 2012 London Olympics.
Wray Vamplew, Department of Sports Studies, Stirling University, UK
Britain’s success in obtaining the 2012 Summer Olympic Games reemphasized its own belief that it had been a key player in the early history of the Olympic movement. Yet as Matt Llewellyn shows, in this fascinating myth-challenging and revisionist study, the reverse was true. Llewellyn explores the reasons for the longstanding British disinterest right up to 1939, and sets them into context, with an impressive depth and breadth of scholarly enquiry and sophisticated analysis. This is a work of value to all those with an interest in the history of sport and the Olympics, not just in the United Kingdom.
Mike Huggins, University of Cumbria, UK