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Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present

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On view: October 27, 2018 - January 13, 2019

Photography and sports have been entwined since the invention of photography in the 19th century. However, the artistry of shooting sports has been underappreciated in comparison to other genres within the medium. Sports are all about movement and motion, and this exhibition demonstrates how photographic technology enabled its practitioners to capture the human body in motion as it had never been seen before, all with astonishing technique and artistry. 

Comprising over 200 images in color and black-and-white from the past 175 years, Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present presents an astonishing diversity of work by more than 150 photographers. The exhibition includes classic images of legendary athletes and historic action shots, as well as pictures taken behind-the-scenes and on the sidelines. Sports familiar and unfamiliar are represented, in photographs taken across six continents. Fans and spectators worldwide are portrayed, too, demonstrating an enthusiasm for sports that transcends national borders and socioeconomic levels. 

Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present is organized by the Brooklyn Museum and curated by Gail Buckland, Benjamin Menschel Distinguished Visiting Professor at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.


Image: Bob Martin (British, born 1959). Avi Torres of Spain sets off at the start of the 200m freestyle heats, Paralympic Games, Athens, September 1, 2004, printed 2016. Inkjet print, 14 x 91⁄2 in. (35.6 x 24.1 cm). Courtesy of Bob Martin/Sports Illustrated

Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present
  • Times:  See website for times.
  • October 27, 2018 to January 13, 2019
  • Grand Rapids Art Museum
  • Free with admission, free for members
  • Recurring weekly on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday