The Art of Baseball

Baseball is both heroic and humble. It is neighborhood and childhood and summer all rolled into one. It has its own time frame—as Yogi Berra says, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over. It also has its own unique space, as no other game is played on a diamond. For generations, the game has challenged artists to capture some of this magic.

Each work of art in The Gladstone Collection of Baseball Art—whether the maker was an academic artist or a sign painter with a deadline—is about the game itself. No two games are alike, but they all have in common the bat, the ball, the players, the crowd, and the moment.

The Art of Baseball, on view from April 17 through September 20, 2015 in the Wallace Kane Gallery at the Concord Museum, featured works by acclaimed American artists—including William Merritt Chase, Robert Rauschenberg, and William Zorach—as well as folk artists who were inspired by the sport (walk through the galleries of The Art of Baseball). This accompanying on-line exhibition brings together additional material for an expanded look at the history of baseball in the town of Concord, Massachusetts.

To view images or videos, please click on the images below.

James Chapin was an influential American Regionalist painter whose imagery frequently included working men and women.

Watch a 4-minute film featuring Honorary Curator Doris Kearns Goodwin and collectors Millie and Bill Gladstone.

Douglas Tilden sculpture

Douglas Tilden began a successful career as a sculptor in Paris in 1888, exhibiting at the Paris Salon from 1889 to 1892 and again in 1894.

To Learn More

Browse the Boston Public Library’s rich archive of photographs related to Boston’s home team–the Red Sox.

Explore The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum whose 40,000 three-dimensional artifacts are used to tell the story of nearly two centuries of baseball history.

Read the essay “Fan” by Doris Kearns Goodwin, on the website for the PBS film Baseball by Ken Burns.
Above image: Saturday Afternoon at Sportsman’s Park, Edward Laning, about 1944. The Gladstone Collection of Baseball Art. Photograph by John Maggiotto.
Background photo: 
Fastball, Lou Grant, 2004. The Gladstone Collection of Baseball Art. Photograph by John Maggiotto.