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Bellows’ work in painting was also highly dependent upon his drawing skills, and he was known as well for his extensive work in lithography, the printmaking medium that is the closest to drawing of all print forms.
Even after quitting the University and leaving for New York to become an artist, Bellows was still very involved in baseball, playing semi-pro ball with the Howards of Brooklyn, both for the love of the game and for the extra income it provided the penurious artist-in-training.
He rarely made images of baseball or basketball, and he had little personal involvement in boxing, the sport that is best known in his art.
Bellows’ artistic reputation both in his lifetime and today is heavily based on his images of boxing, among them his important paintings of boxing matches titled (1909, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. It is likely that Bellows played tennis in his youth in Ohio.
The following text was written collaboratively by Steve Wilkinson, nationally recognized and honored as long-time coach of the highly successful men’s tennis program at Gustavus Adolphus College, and Donald Myers, Director, Hillstrom Museum of Art.
It was produced as part of a recurring exhibit program of the Hillstrom Museum of Art titled FOCUS IN/ON, in which individual works in the Hillstrom Collection are explored in depth in a collaborative process that engages the expertise of College community members across the curriculum and co-curriculum.