The National Art Museum of Sport (NAMOS) has a two-pronged mission: to encourage sport artists in their efforts to create sport art, and to collect, preserve and share through exhibits the best examples of sport art it can acquire.
It does this through exhibits, educational materials and outreach programs. In carrying out this mission, NAMOS is a bridge of understanding between two worlds, introducing art to the world of sports and sport to the world of art.
NAMOS has encouraged the creation of sport art and has collected more than 1,000 pieces showcasing the heroes and heroines of basketball, boxing, baseball, golf and tennis-over 50 sports in all for over fifty years. Through permanent and special exhibits, this collection evokes the excitement and variety of a sporting life, allowing sportsmen and fans alike to thrill at the passions such a collection can stir.
NAMOS was founded in 1959 in New York City by Germain G. Glidden (GGG), a portrait artist and champion squash player with a strong belief in sport and art as universal languages understood and appreciated by all people. To learn more about Glidden click here. The museum is a registered 501(c)(3) organization which relies on donations and corporate support to fund all operations, exhibits, and programs.
The close bond between art and sport is an enduring one, and from it has come a rich bounty of memorable images. The word “sport” embraces a wide range of activities through which we leave behind the toils and troubles of daily life in search of pleasure, exercise, and spirited competition. Sport art helps us understand our relation to sport, and of sport to life. Art captures emotion: the anxiety of competition, the joy of winning, the agony of defeat. It depicts internal conflict: the pitting of honor and sportsmanship versus the desire to win, or the struggle to maintain resolve in the face of overwhelming odds, pain and fatigue. Art connects us with our history and allows us to witness famous events in which famous athletes made time stand still. All of us are personally and vicariously acquainted with such experiences in our forays into sport. Good art gives us new ways of seeing these things in others, and thus offers insights into ourselves.
Whether one thinks of the athletic contests portrayed in Greek vase painting and sculpture, the epic hunts that form the subjects of so many great medieval tapestries and manuscript pages, or the elegant horse-racing scenes of Edgar Degas, depicting sport has inspired artists across the millennia to some of their finest achievements. In America, a country celebrated for hard work and hard play, sport art has had an especially vigorous history, and it is fitting that we should celebrate it with a national museum devoted to the subject. Many of our best artists- Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, George Bellows and Germain Glidden-were active sports persons themselves and numbered among their friends leading athletes, fishermen and hunters. For them, as for many others, the multifaceted drama of sport was both a challenge and inspiration, the generating force that led to unforgettable works.