EYE CANDY

Marvel at the Muscles in Sports Photography’s Best Pictures

Impeccably toned and outrageously skilled, athletes have always lent themselves — or at least their bodies — particularly well to the camera. The Brooklyn Museum’s new exhibition, “Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present,” is a testament to the genre, from 19th-century tennis players to UFC fighters and, of course, Serena Williams, shot by industry giants like Bob Martin to artier heavy hitters like Andy Warhol and Herb Ritts. The photographers in Rio have a lot to live up to this summer.

1
Bob Martin, “Serena,” 2004, printed 2016.
Courtesy of Bob Martin and the Brooklyn Museum.
2
Andy Warhol, “Pelé,” 1977.
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Licensed by ARS. Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum.
3
Bob Martin, “Avi Torres of Spain sets off at the start of the 200m freestyle heats, Paralympic Games, Athens,” 2004, printed 2016.
Courtesy of Bob Martin/Sports Illustrated and the Brooklyn Museum.
4
Thomas Pelham Curtis, “American Olympic Team at the 1896 Athens Olympics,” 1896.
Courtesy of the collection of Thomas Pelham Curtis II and the Brooklyn Museum.
5
Joerg Mitter, “Levi Sherwood of New Zealand performs in front of the St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow’s Red Square, Russia,” 2010.
Courtesy of Joerg Mitter, Limex Images, and the Brooklyn Museum.
6
Georges Demeny, “Chronophotograph of an exercise on the horizontal bar,” 1906.
© INSEP Iconothèque. Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum.
7
Ken Geiger, “Nigerian Relay Team, Olympics, Barcelona,” 1992.
Courtesy of Ken Geiger, the Dallas Morning News, and the Brooklyn Museum.
8
David Burnett, “Olympic previews, Fort Lauderdale, Florida,” 1996.
© David Burnett and Contact Press Images. Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum.
9
Howard Schatz, “Boxing Study 1805 Sergio Martinez,” 2010.
Courtesy of “At the Fights: Inside the World of Professional Boxing;” the Staley-Wise Gallery, New York; and the Brooklyn Museum.
10
Daniel Rodrigues, “Football in Guinea Bissau,” 2012.
Courtesy of the artist and the Brooklyn Museum.
11
Brian Finke, “Untitled (Cheerleading #81),” 2001.
Courtesy of the artist and the Brooklyn Museum.
12
Herb Ritts, “Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Point Dume,” 1987.
© Herb Ritts Foundation/Trunk Archive. Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum.
13
Franck Seguin, “Mixed Martial Arts Fight, UFC 154, Montreal, Canada,” 2012.
Courtesy of the artist and the Brooklyn Museum.
14
Lusha Nelson, “Joe Louis, Vanity Fair,” 1935.
Courtesy of Condé Nast Archive and the Brooklyn Museum.
15
Rainer Martini, “High Jump, Bavarian Track and Field Championships, Passau, Bavaria,” 2011.
Courtesy of the artist and the Brooklyn Museum.
16
Krystle Wright, “Freefall, Michael Tomchek leaps off Castleton Tower (400ft) as fellow BASE jumpers look on, Castle Valley, Utah,” 2010.
Courtesy of the collection of Krystle Wright and the Brooklyn Museum.
17
George Rodger, “The Wrestlers, Kordofan, Sudan,” 1949.
© George Rodger/Magnum Photos. Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum.
18
Lourdes Grobet, “Blue Sentado,” from the series “Lucha Libre,” circa 2005.
Courtesy of the artist and the Brooklyn Museum.
19
Gerard Rancinan, “Laura Flessel,” 2001.
Courtesy of the artist and the Brooklyn Museum.
20
David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, “Mr. Laing or Laine,” 1843.
Courtesy of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the Brooklyn Museum.
21
Mark Fisher, “Sage Cattabriga Alosa, Alaska, Extreme-Skiing,” 2010.
Courtesy of the artist and the Brooklyn Museum.
22
John Dominis, “American track and field athletes Tommie Smith (C) and John Carlos (R), first and third place winners in the 200 meter race, protest with the Black Power salute as they stand on the winner’s podium at the Summer Olympic games, Mexico City, Mexico, October 19, 1968. Australian silver medalist Peter Norman stands by,” 1968.
Courtesy of John Dominis, Getty Images, and the Brooklyn Museum.
23
Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher, “Surma Donga Stick Fighters, Ethiopia,” 1990, printed 2016.
Courtesy of the artists and the Brooklyn Museum.
24
Lev Borodulin, “Girl Archer,” 1956.
© Lev Borodulin. Courtesy Nailya Alexander Gallery and the Brooklyn Museum.
25
Robert Riger, “The Golden Arm, Johnny Unitas,” 1958.
© Robert Riger. Courtesy of the Robert Riger Living Trust and the Brooklyn Museum.