In this book, award-winning sports historian Allen Guttmann examines the entire history of sports-themed American art from the eighteenth to the late twentieth century. Describing his effort as an exercise in contextualization, he documents the parallel evolution of sports and art as two intimately related aspects of American culture, each shedding light on the other. Guttmann demonstrates not only that knowledge of sports history greatly enhances our appreciation of sports-themed art, but also that our artists provide us with fresh insights into what it means when we "do" sports.
"I have been waiting for years for a book like this. While others have written about art and sport, this is the most expansive treatment of the topic to date—a masterful synthesis by an erudite scholar who has managed to bridge the gap between two tremendously important cultural institutions and practices."—Daniel A. Nathan, author of Saying It's So: A Cultural History of the Black Sox Scandal
"Sports and American Art From Benjamin West to Andy Warhol comes from an award-winning sports historian who examines the history of sports-themed Americna art from the 18th to the early 20th century. His is an in-depth coverage of art and sport and covers a range of artistic representation of American sports."—Midwest Book Review
"In this finely illustrated book, Allen Guttmann encourages readers to consider the often overlooked connections between sports and art throughout American history."—The Journal of American History
"[Guttmann] places society, sport and art history as the successive lenses, layered one before another, through which to view each work of art. Positioned that way, each art object appears like letters on an eye chart viewed through the superimposed lenses of an optometrist's diagnostic headset: clearer and more legible. . . . It is a revealing vision, captured in a book I found hard to put down."—Amherst
"This book is a treasure. The writing is full of wonderful brush strokes with just enough controversial narrative to generate lively future exchanges in the field of sport history. Lastly, the University of Massachusetts Press deserves a medal for a book that has the production feel, and appearance, of a top-of-the-line coffee table special."—Journal of Sport History
"The unique idea of showing through text and artwork, the parallel histories of art and sports makes this a valuable and unique history reference. 'Outstanding Title'"—University Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries
"Guttman examines the concurrent development of sport and art and argues that their development was parallel."—tandfonline.com