What is Muhammad Ali doing at the Allentown Art Museum?

Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, from 1843 to the Present, an exhibit of 200 photographs of athletes, fans, Olympians, and unforgettable moments in sports, opens at the Allentown Art Museum on Sunday, May 6, and will be on display through July 29. Stop by to be awestruck by the stories told through moments captured by world-famous sports photographers and photojournalists – that incredible split-second as an Olympian takes the gold, or the decisive moment when an American sports hero bids farewell—moments in history you may have missed or have forgotten about that were captured by the skill of a sports photographer.

Who Shot Sports is about athletes and athletic competition as well as the history of how sports photography changed the technology of photography and the art of creating photographic images. Just as athletic training benefited from technology, sports photography pushed the edge of speed and focus with longer lenses, faster shutters, motor drives, remote controls, and underwater capabilities.

2018 is the Allentown Art Museum’s Year of Photography, and Who Shot Sports is a powerful demonstration of the Museum’s commitment to merging the arts, community, and social interaction. By combining exhibits with special programming and community participation, the Museum makes the arts accessible to everyone this year through photography of superhuman excellence to cultures in a far-off land, breathtaking landscapes and joyous moments that have no intellectual or cultural barrier.  

The Allentown Art Museum set off on a journey in the fall of 2017 to change the way art is defined, and change has arrived! Its calendar of events and programs includes Art Ways activities for families on the weekends, a documentary film series, staying open until 8 p.m. on Third Thursdays with crafts, music, performance, and tastings, and Free Sundays. Everyone in the Lehigh Valley can enjoy this exciting new direction, from full-time residents to downtown workers, to visiting business executives, school children, art and movie lovers, and aspiring artists.

Visit the Allentown Art Museum this spring through July 29, bring your best sports memories, and experience them again!

Year of Photography Allentown Art Museum

Shown in image at top: Bob Martin (British, born 1959). Serena, 2004, printed 2016. Inkjet print. Courtesy Bob Martin. From Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present, organized by the Brooklyn Museum.
Shown in graphic (l to r):

  • Stephanie Sinclair, Too Young to Wed, June 2011, Sanaa, Yemen. From the exhibition Women of Vision: National Geographic Photographers on Assignment, organized and traveled by the National Geographic Society. At the Museum now through April 8.
  • Dmitri Baltermants, Test Pilot Ahmet Khan Sultan, Twice Hero of the Soviet Union, 1961. Allentown Art Museum, gift of Jon and Nicky Ungar, 2015. At the Museum this fall.
  • Ken Geiger, Nigerian Relay Team, Olympics, Barcelona, 1992. Courtesy of Ken Geiger/The Dallas Morning News. From Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present, organized by the Brooklyn Museum. At the Museum May 6 - July 29.