Ways of Seeing, Ways of Telling: From Art History to Sport History

Hughson, John Ewing orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7030-4806 (2015) Ways of Seeing, Ways of Telling: From Art History to Sport History. The International Journal of the History of Sport, 32 (15). pp. 1799-1803. ISSN 0952-3367

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09523367.2015.1108308


Art and sport tend to be regarded as very dissimilar areas of human endeavour. Yet, the excellence of human achievement attained in both fields promotes a similarity of consideration that suggests a degree of commonality in the respective methodologies of scholars working on the history of art and the history of sport. A particular sensitivity for sport historians has involved wanting to appear to be doing more than telling stories about great sportspeople and sporting contests. While this is an understandable concern, sport historians risk engaging in something other than ‘sport history’ if they allow anxiety to compromise the discussion of their core subject matter. The history of the history of art reveals a related tension over the existence of a canon of great artists. This tension has not been, and need not be, resolved. Sport historians do well to consider its negotiation as they think through ways to enhance their own modi operandi.

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