Tod Papageorge: American Sports, 1970

Or, How We Spent the War in Vietnam

Photographs by Tod Papageorge. Text by Tim Davis.

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Coolly observational yet intensely engaging, the immensely influential American photographer Tod Papageorge's "American Sports, 1970" draws a subtle but sharp parallel between the war in Vietnam and the American attitude toward spectator sports during a time of conflict. In 1970, a watershed year for popular opinion against the war, Papageorge was awarded a Guggenheim Foundation grant. His ostensible subject--sports and its role in American life--quickly became charged with the political, racial and sexual conflicts ignited by the war. Each and every picture is electric with disquiet. Military men in uniform parade across a field or relax in the stands. Cheerleaders rehearse beneath the gaze of the police. A couple sprawls and embraces in the debris of the Indianapolis 500. And hundreds of fans are drawn in unsettling group portraits at various stadiums and in the stands of many classic American sporting events.
Papageorge eloquently and palpably captures the civic and psychic distress of the time on the faces of his subjects and in their gestures and interactions. This is a remarkable, unexpected body of work--published here for the first time--by an artist and teacher who has shaped the creative efforts of many of the most influential American photographers of the past three decades.

Format: Hardback
Number of pages: 131
Publication date: 2008-01-01
Measurements: 12.01 x 10.79 x 0.79 inches
ISBN: 9781597110501

Photographs by Tod Papageorge. Text by Tim Davis.

Tod Papageorge earned his BA in English literature from the University of New Hampshire, in 1962, where he began taking photographs during his last semester. He is the recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships and two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. In 1979, Papageorge was named Yale University’s Walker Evans Professor of Photography and director of graduate studies in photography, positions he continues to hold today.