News: Sports through the ages

By Jo Phillips

We have a lot of sports coming up over the next couple of months, from the Olympics, to the Tour de France and everything in between. Although we aren’t a sports magazine, we thought we should take a moment to look at some photographs of the original sporting games and the exhibitions linked to these.

Olympic Games 1896: The Photograph Album of Albert Mayer – From the Benaki Collections, As Viewed by Eva Nathena

In conjunction with this years 2016 Rio Olympics and the 120th anniversary of the modern Olympic games the Benaki Museum of Athens, the Athens International Airport and Costa Navarino resort in southwest Greece have teamed up to present a special photographic exhibition of the works of Albert Mayer. The exhibition allows the visitors to travel back to the first Olympic Games as we know it, viewing images of the Olympic committee, the city of Athens in 1896 and iconic olympians including Spyros Louis. The show exhibits 25 of Albert Mayers photographs from his coverage of the 1896 games. Upon arrival to the exhibition, you will enter an aircraft in which the photographs are on display in the windows of the plane and inside the cockpit. By entering this space, ‘passengers’ are taken on a journey back to the first modern olympic games in Athens.

The exhibition is on display at the “Art & Environment” area, Departures Level of Athens International Airport from May 16th to September 16th, while the parallel exhibition “Olympic Games 1986” at the Costa Navarino in Messina will be on display from April 27th to November 30th, 2016.

Sebastião Salgado: ‘Le Tour de France’

As well as this current exhibition of vintage sports photography, the Polka Galerie in Paris is exhibiting the work of Sebastião Salgado. Famous for his social documentary photography work as part of the Magnum collective and under his own photography agency Amazonas Images, Salgado has been known to travel to extensive corners of the earth in order to document landscapes, wildlife and people. Over the month of July the Polka Galerie will be exhibiting a unique collection of Salgado’s photos of the Tour de France in 1986. Commissioned by French Newspaper Liberation, Salgado was asked to photograph the participants as well as the audience to capture the energy of the race demonstrating the photographers obsession for men and their environment.

Sebastião Salgado Le Tour de France 1986 Credits: Polka Galerie
Sebastião Salgado Le Tour de France 1986 Credits: Polka Galerie

Assisted by Pierre Briançon, Gilles Millet and Jean Hatzfeld, Sebastião Salgado once again stood out for the authenticity of his photographic vision. “His innocence made him capture things on camera that we simply did not see”, says Patrick Le Roux, a journalist for Liberation. Through talking to people, learning their different accents and photography the spectators, Salgado captured a unique and diverse portrait of France and its inhabitants, eventually leaving more interested in the men on the side of the road rather than the champions of the race. “I discovered a country sixteen times smaller than mine, but maybe sixteen times more diverse” says the photographer.

Polka Galerie will display eighteen of Sebastião Salgado’s ‘Le Tour de France’ photographs from July 2nd to July 30th.

Magnum Cycling

Alongside this, Magnum have recently released the book ‘Magnum Cycling’ celebrating some of the worlds greatest photographers who have captured both the adventure and thrill of the sport. The book highlights both the agony of defeat and the ecstasy of victory across a vast spectrum of backdrops, all demonstrating the passion of the cyclists. The book features work from iconic photographers Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa and John Vink who have captured cycling’s rich history and shot at some of the most iconic sporting events.

Magnum Cycling, published 14th June 2016, is available from Thames & Hudson

For now though, here are a few of our favourite vintage Sports Photography snaps

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Sherry Magee, Philadelphia, NL (baseball), 1911 Credits: Bain News Service, publisher.
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Jimmy Clabby. Boxing, 1910 Credits: Bain News Service, publisher.
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Harvard varsity, 1911 Credits: Bain News Service, publisher.
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Cornell Varsity, 1911 Credits: Bain News Service, publisher.
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Miss E. Moore, Circa 1911 Credits: Bain News Service, publisher.


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