Serena Williams, © Bob Martin
On Exhibit at Tampa Museum of Art Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present The exhibition currently on display at the Tampa Museum of Art was created in hopes to bring a new audience to the museum. The 217 photographs by more than 154 photographers showcase different sports from around the globe. “The Tampa Museum of Art is honored to be able to bring to the Tampa Bay community this incredible exhibition organized by the Brooklyn Museum of Art, as the TMA is committed to educating, discussing, and collecting photographs from the mid-19th century forward,” said Michael Tomor, TMA’s Executive Director. The museum also exhibits Lens on Tampa Bay Sports, which showcases the local talents of eight local sports photographers, with 40 images of memorable sports moments of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning and others. METRO had the opportunity to interview curator, Gail Buckland, Benjamin Menschel Distinguished Visiting Professor at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. Printed is a partial interview. For the complete interview with Gail Buckland, visit www.tampabaymetro.com.
Gail Buckland, Exhibit Curator
METRO: What was your inspiration for this exhibition and book? GAIL BUCKLAND: My previous exhibition and book Who Shot Rock And Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present (Knopf, 2009), was a huge success. The exhibition was on view at 10 art museums. One of the most meaningful aspects of doing the project was bringing people into art museums who don’t normally come. Rock and roll is one of the greatest social revolutions the world had ever known. Once I began thinking about what other photographers have been left out of the history of photography, I realized that the men and women who have photographed sports with such professionalism, skill, imagination and commitment have also been excluded.
M: Are you a sports buff? GB: I am definitely not a “sports buff.” I am a photography “buff,” — actually, more than that. I have dedicated my professional life to looking at and thinking about photographs. M: How does art/photography transcend or overcome the lack of knowledge on subject matter? GB: A good photograph is a good photograph, regardless of the reason it was made. The critical skills I developed over 40 years apply to sports photographs as they apply to other types of pictures. M: Photographers are much like athletes on the field and in the moment. Tell us more. GB: Sports photographers are highly competitive. They all want the shot that will be remembered after the game finishes or the Olympics end. They train physically because sports photography is very demanding. Sports photographers often say they have the best job in the world. Sports is about being in the moment – whether you are the athlete, spectator or photographer. Still photographers are masters of moments. M: Which images are your favorites? GB: All the pictures are my favorites, as I looked through thousands to make the final selection. Ultimately, each picture in the exhibition and book was chosen because it is a wonderful photograph in itself that helps carry the story of the men and women who have given sports its indelible image. Two favorites include: Nat Fein’s photograph of Babe Ruth saying farewell at Yankee Stadium, in 1948, and Neil Leifer’s photograph of Muhammad Ali standing over Sonny Liston, Lewiston, Maine, 1965.
Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present will be on display at the Tampa Museum of Art through April 30. For more information and hours, call 813.274.8130 or visit www.tampamuseum.org.
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