Serena, Unitas, Ali, Babe at the Allentown Art Museum

Featured Image: Franck Seguin (French, born 1960). Mixed Martial Arts Fight, UFC 154, Montreal, Canada, 2012, printed 2016. Inkjet print, 9 1/4 x 14 in. (23.7 x 35.6 cm). Courtesy of the artist. From Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present, organized by the Brooklyn Museum. 


Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History,
1843 to the Present opens May 6


Allentown, PA – Visions of incredible strength and poise; agony, euphoria and the drama and beauty of sports captured in time by sports photographers. In May, the Allentown Art Museum will bring to the Lehigh Valley one of the largest exhibitions in its history. Organized by the Brooklyn Museum in New York, this vivid display of photography at its finest captures some of the most famous and meaningful events in sports over the last two centuries. Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present features nearly 200 sports images from nations around the globe. In fact, it is the most thorough exhibition of sports photographers ever organized.

From Muhammad Ali, Sandy Koufax and Johnny Unitas to a pick-up game of soccer in Guinea- Bussau, Who Shot Sports captures its subject’s universal appeal. It is an experience of athletics, art and culture that is not to be missed. 

From the distinguished photographic historian and curator of Who Shot Rock and Roll comes an exhibition of photographs chronicling the finest of sports photography and the revealing moments that spectators sometimes don’t get to see. The Allentown Art Museum presents

curator Gail Buckland’s selection of photographs chosen for their aesthetic, cultural and historical significance, including images of many different sports from around the world, names you will easily recognize, events that you will recall or never forget and scenes that will surprise you.

The exhibition covers a range of topics such as early sports photography, the Olympics, solo and team sports, portraits of athletes, athletes off the field and images of the faithful fans.

Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present highlights sports history and, equally as impressive, the sports photographers and their place in the history of photography. The exhibition demonstrates just what the finest sports photographers are capable of capturing in their art: memorable moments frozen in time, revealing how the photographer is as much an artistic athlete as the graceful, powerful, dynamic subjects themselves.

Special Museum programming related to Who Shot Sports includes:


  • Panel Discussion: Sports, Aesthetics and Material Culture

Sunday, June 10, 2018 (2:00pm)

Who Shot Sports exhibit curator Gail Buckland moderates a conversation that will examine the role of aesthetics in sports and the impact of material culture and how we view a photograph. The panelists will include Daniel Haxall, professor of art history at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania; Berrisford Boothe, professor of art and African studies at Lehigh University; and Myron Beasley, Ph.D., associate professor in the areas of cultural studies, African- American studies and gender and sexuality studies at Bates College.

·         Photography Workshop

Thursdays, June 21, July 19, August 16 (5:30-7:30pm)

In honor of our Year of Photography, visit the Crayola Classroom on Third Thursdays for a photography workshop with local artist Claire Marcus. Focus on color, composition and storytelling through images. Bring your own smartphone or digital camera to use during the workshop or borrow one of ours.


·         Teen Photography Workshop with Steelhawks’ Holmes, NBA’s Hilliard

Sunday, July 15 (noon to 2pm)

Teens work with a local photographer to discuss principles of photography and developing their own personal perspective on photography. Special guests Dante Holmes, of the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks, and the NBA’s Darrun Hilliard assist with the day’s activities.


·         Film and Talk Back with Larry Holmes

Sunday, July 15, 2018 (3-5pm)

In the weeks before the 1980 heavyweight title fight between Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes, documentarians Albert and David Maysles took an intimate look at Ali trying to convince himself, and maybe the world, that he was still “The Greatest.” At the same time, they documented the mild mannered and undervalued champion Larry Holmes as he confidently prepared to put an end to the career of a man for whom he had an abiding and deep affection. The result is the gripping documentary Muhammad and Larry, which will be screened as part of this program.


·         Photography Dialogue: Frame 37 Discussion

Thursday, July 19, 2018 (6-8p.m.)


This third in a series of Frame 37 conversations will offer a unique experience for Museum visitors to take part in a dialogue about photography and Who Shot Sports and to hear the photographers’ perspectives and their artistic observations.


·         Film Series

The artists, thinkers and creative beings highlighted in our summer film series take the audience on a journey of personal human experiences. Thus, keeping in line with the Allentown Art Museum’s mission to engage, teach, inspire and transform. The Allentown Art Museum’s Thursday Film Series is supported by the HeARThstone Project .


When the Garden Was Eden: Clyde, the Captain, Dollar Bill, and the Glory Days of the New York Knicks

June 21, 2018 (6:00 pm)

In the tradition of The Boys of Summer and The Bronx Is Burning, New York Times sports columnist Harvey Araton delivers a fascinating look at the 1970s New York Knicks. Araton’s revealing story of the Knicks’ heyday is far more than a review of one of basketball’s greatest teams—it is, at heart, a stirring recreation of a time and place when the NBA championships defined the national dream.


·         T-Rex

July 19, 2018 (6:00pm)

T-Rex is an intimate coming-of-age story about a new kind of American heroine. For the first time, women’s boxing is included in the 2012

Olympics. Fighting for gold from the U.S. is Claressa “T-Rex” Shields, just 17 years old, and by far the youngest competitor. But Claressa is fierce and determined. She desperately wants to take her family to a better, safer place and winning a gold medal could be her only chance.


·         ArtVentures


May: Make artworks that focus on movement and action this month as we celebrate the opening of the new exhibition Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to Present.

June: Explore the intersection of fashion and fine art. Draw connections between the clothes depicted in the exhibition Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to Present, and the sports-themed prints in Who Wore Sports. 

Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present is on exhibit at the Allentown Art Museum from May 6-July 29, 2018. Admission to this special presentation is free to members and with Museum admission. On Free Sundays, admission to Who Shot Sports is $8 for adults 18 and older, $6 for ages 7-17 and $20 per family (2 adults, and any number of children). Children under 6 are free. Children’s programming in Art Ways and the galleries outside of the Who Shot Sports exhibit remain free on Sunday. Group tours for students can be scheduled with advance registration with a special $7 admission fee per student.

This exhibit is organized by the Brooklyn Museum with guest curator Gail Buckland, Benjamin Menschel Distinguished Visiting Professor at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. A companion book published by Alfred A. Knopf accompanies the exhibition and is on sale in the Museum Shop.

The Allentown Art Museum would like to thank the Presenting Sponsor of Who Shot Sports Alvin H. Butz Inc.     



Additional support for the presentation of Who Shot Sports at the Allentown Art Museum has been provided by the County of Lehigh, Service Electric Cable TV and Communications, Coordinated Health and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.


The exhibition program at the Museum is supported through the generosity of the Harry C. Trexler Trust, Julius and Katheryn Hommer Foundation, The Century Fund, Bernard and Audrey Berman Foundation, Leon C. and June W. Holt Endowment, Martin Guitar Charitable Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Friends of the Museum.

The Allentown Art Museum is open Wednesday-Saturday 11am-4pm, on Sundays from noon- 4pm and until 8pm on the third Thursday of each month.

For more information about the Allentown Art Museum events, programs, the Museum Shop and the Café, check our website or Facebook or follow us on Twitter. If you have a question about our programming email us at

Information and image provided to TVL by:
Angela Zanelli
VP Development and Communications
Allentown Art Museum