The Forgotten Olympic Art Competitions: The Story of the Olympic Art Competitions of the 20th Century

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Trafford, 2000 - Art - 412 pages
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This is the history of one of the most important cultural collaborations of the 20th Century, the joining of art and sport. Here is the story of the inclusion of the Fine Arts as competition events in the modern Olympic Games.

Recounted within these pages for the first time are the ideas and techniques that briefly created a union of these disparate worlds. Follow themas they conducted what were the Olympic Art Competitions of the 20th Century.

In this volume you will meet the people who forged that union and those who destroyed it. You will also discover why you never heard of these competitions. Here too are the results of the art events and your opportunity to meet a few of the artists who pursued their quest for Olympic Gold.

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From: "Journal of Olympic History", Vol. 9, No. 2, Spring 2001
Review by Anthony Bijkerk, the Netherlands

"Over a period of forty years, I have read and collected many books on the Olympic Games, and of course in several of these books one can find references to the Olympic Art Competitions in the period from 1912 to 1948. But as far as I know, this happens to be the very first time an overall and complete history of this Olympic Art competition has ever been published.

Richard Stanton has done a wonderful and thorough research on this particular subject. Every Olympic historian should be able to remember how Pierre de Coubertin in 1906 declined going to the Intercalary Games inAthens...

...Richard Stanton went through the archives of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne with the finest comb he could find, with the result that we now have an almost complete insight in the efforts Coubertin put into making possible the union of sports and arts in the Olympic Games. Stanton made an English translation of many letters in the French language which he found in the archives...

...In this particular issue of the Journal of Olympic History, May 2001, Mr. Stanton, in an article submitted at the same time as his book, gives interesting details about the winners of that art competition from 1912.

He continues with the developments of the art competitions in Antwerp 1920, Paris 1924, Amsterdam 1928, Los Angeles 1932 and Berlin 1936. The situation after World War Two, with the Olympic Games in London (and the last full art competition) is also given, just before the final chapter on the disparate union of the arts and sport unfolds immediately after these Games. In three consecutive chapters with the appropriate titles: "The Throwing of the Gauntlet", "The Setting of the Midnight Sun", and "The Coup de Grace", Stanton describes the circumstances (and persons involved), that made an end to the Olympic Art Competitions, and finally changed them into Olympic Art Exhibitions! Many of these details are known, but the whole story unfolds before us in a dramatic way.

Of particular interest are the final chapters, giving us the possibility to meet with several artists who participated in these art competitions and won an Olympic medal or an Honorable Mention. Of course, for those of us who are interested in statistics, the full list with "Results, Lists & Other Curiosities" is the end of this interesting book."

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About the author (2000)

Stanton-Editor & teacher, now teaching journalism at the University of Western Sydney

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