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Muscularity in Motion

James Anderson
Hercules
albumen print on paper
7 3/4 in x 10 1/4 in (19.6 cm x 26 cm);14 5/16 in x 19 5/16 in (36.35 cm x 49.05 cm);10 3/16 in x 7 13/16 in (25.9 cm x 19.9 cm);9 13/16 in x 7 13/16 in (24.9 cm x 19.9 cm)
Transfer from the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology
Rick Chapman
Lance Armstrong, Austin, Texas, from "The ESPY Collection"
gelatin silver print on paper
14 in x 10 15/16 in (35.5 cm x 27.8 cm);22 1/8 in x 18 1/8 in (56.2 cm x 46.04 cm);10 3/16 in x 10 3/16 in (25.8 cm x 25.8 cm)
Gift of the artist
Rick Chapman
Sammy Sosa, Chicago, Illinois, from "The ESPY Collection"
gelatin silver print on paper
14 in x 10 15/16 in (35.5 cm x 27.8 cm)
Gift of the artist
A man with a boxing helmet on and a mouth guard in his mouth. There are lights behind him and he is sweating.
Artist Unknown
Muhammad Ali
black and white photograph on paper
8 x 9 13/16 in. ( 20.32 x 24.92 cm )
Gift from the Collection of David S. Rosen MD, MPH
Gerrit A. Beneker
The Past is Behind Us, The Future is Ahead. Let Us All Strive to Make the Future Better and Brighter than the Past Ever Was.
color lithograph on paper
19 15/16 x 15 in. (50.5 x 38 cm)
Gift of Mr. Maurice F. Lyons
Moses Oley
Worker with Mallet
lithograph on paper
16 ¼ in x 12 ¼ in (41.28 cm x 31.12 cm);16 ¼ in x 12 ¼ in (41.28 cm x 31.12 cm)
Allocated by the U.S. Government Commissioned through the New Deal art projects
Boxing match. One man on the mat being counted out by the referree. Winner is standing in the corner.
George Wesley Bellows
Counted Out
lithograph on paper
12 x 13 3/8 in. (30.48 x 33.97 cm)
Dr. Herbert & Doris Sloan
Two boxers trade punches in a ring with the referee close behind and the crowd cheering. One boxer is pushing the other with his forearm.
George Wesley Bellows
A Stag at Sharkey's
lithograph on paper
24 in x 18 3/4 in (60.96 cm x 47.63 cm)
Bequest of Doris and Herbert Sloan;Bequest of Doris and Herbert Sloan
A photograph of a man playing wiffleball in a paved lot, standing near a brick wall. He stands balanced on one foot, winding up to hit the ball.
Danny Lyon
Wiffleball Player
gelatin silver print on paper
11 in x 14 in (27.94 cm x 35.56 cm)
Gift of Thomas Wilson '79 and Jill Garling '80
A man working out in the yard. He is shirtless with a large bar on his shoulders. There are other prisoners in the yard too.
Danny Lyon
The Yard, from "Conversations with the Dead"
gelatin silver print on paper
11 x 14 in. ( 27.94 x 35.56 cm )
Gift of Thomas Wilson '79 and Jill Garling '80
A group of prisoners, naked, standing in a line next to a line of officers. They are in the hallway between the cells.
Danny Lyon
Building Shakedown, from "Conversations with the Dead"
gelatin silver print on paper
11 x 14 in. ( 27.94 x 35.56 cm )
Gift of Thomas Wilson '79 and Jill Garling '80
Max Yavno
Muscle Beach
gelatin silver print on paper
7 15/16 in. x 13 7/16 in. ( 20.1 cm x 34.2 cm )
Museum Purchase

In "Houdini, Tarzan, and the Perfect Man: The White Male Body and the Challenge of Modernity," John Kasson discusses Eugen Sandow, known as the "father of modern bodybuilding." Kasson quotes a review of one of Sandow's turn-of-the-20th-century stage shows, where the audience expressed that "it was hard… to believe that it was indeed flesh and blood that they beheld. Such knots and bunches and layers of muscle that they had never before seen…" After Sandow's rise to prominence, the muscular male physique moved from an object of curiosity to one of adoration, lust, and reverence.

The objects in this resource highlight the muscular male body in many different ways: classical sculpture, physique photography, contemporary collage, and more. Why does muscularity serve as an index for masculinity? How do the visual styles of these objects change the way we perceive the men depicted?


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Last Updated

February 8, 2019 2:06 p.m.

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