May 21, 2018
By: Tom Meikrantz
There’s a photography exhibit which currently opened at the Allentown Art Museum that truly captures what has been called ”a lowbrow form of photography.” It’s called “Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History from 1843 to Present” and features nearly 200 photos, many you’ll recognize since they are famous. Others focus on the fans and the passion that sports brings out in people. It opened May 6th and is the pet project of a Brooklyn curator who spent 4 and a half years selecting pictures from museums, major archives and photographers from around the world.
This is only the 3rd stop for this exhibit and you can see such photographs as Muhammed Ali towering over Sonny Liston after his TKO in 1965 in a title bout rematch, the three USA track members raising their gloved Black Panther fists on the medal stand at the 1968 Summer Olympics, and other iconic moments through the years. There’s also some that demonstrate how photographers shoot from extraordinary positions to create extraordinary images, like one who shot a steeplechase picture from under the horse going over a jump. Some highlight the pioneering efforts of photographers to create motion-study photographs. The Olympics get a lot of attention. Greg Louganis on the point of impact when his head glanced off the diving board in the 1988 Summer Games is one of many photos that show a photographer snapping away at the precise moment of a famous moment in sports. Of course, mainstream sports like baseball, football and basketball line the walls. If I mention Jackie Robinson wide-eyed as he steals home, most people immediately envision the black-and-white photo. I don’t want to give out too much of what images make up the exhibit in case you want to be find out yourself.
Who Shot Sports also includes a section Who Wore Sports featuring unique sports garb from decades ago that reflect sports as a lifestyle.. There will be panel discussions and free photography workshops in connection with the exhibit which runs through July 29th. Larry Holmes will appear July 15th. Tours will be conducted each Sunday at 2 am. An outdoor festival is scheduled for June 24th. Documentary films will be shown. Check it out!