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1912  Stockholm Summer Olympics

1912 Summer Olympics - The Results (Art competitions)

Art competitions at the 1912 Stockholm Summer Games

 

 

Host City: Stockholm, Sweden
Date Started: May 5, 1912
Date Finished: July 27, 1912
Events: 5

Participants: 33 (33 men and 0 women) from 12 countries
Youngest Participant: ITA Rembrandt Bugatti (27 years, 201 days)
Oldest Participant: GBR Jacob Rees (67 years, 202 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 7 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): ITA Italy (2 medals)

 
  

Overview

The idea of holding art competitions in conjunction with the sporting events of the Olympic Games is entirely due to Baron [Pierre de Coubertin], the founder of the modern Olympic Games. It is felt that Coubertin took the idea of Olympic art competitions from the British aesthetics theorist, John Ruskin, Slade Professor of Art Criticism at Oxford, and this is discussed in some detail by the German sports scholar, Arnd Krüger, in his article “Coubertin's Ruskianism.” Norbert Müller has quoted Coubertin as follows\: “Now the moment has come when we enter a phase and intend to reestablish the original beauty of the Olympic Games. In the high times of Olympia ... the fine arts were combined harmoniously with the Olympic Games to create their glory. This is to become reality once again.”

The main impetus for this to become a reality was the IVth Olympic Congress, held in Paris from 23-25 May 1906. Coubertin announced the Congress in a circular letter sent to the IOC Members on 2 April 1906, in which he noted the topic would be “to come and study to what extent and in what way art and literature could be included in the celebration of the modern Olympiads.”

 

The final decision of the IVth Olympic Congress was to include competitions in five forms of the arts\: architecture, literature, music, painting, and sculpture. It was intended that the Olympic art competitions would commence at the 1908 Olympic Games, originally scheduled for Rome. But when Rome had to withdraw from their obligation to celebrate the Games of the IVth Olympiad, they were turned over to London, almost concurrent with the holding of the IVth Olympic Congress in Paris. London had to prepare very quickly for the 1908 Olympic Games and they did not feel that they could host additional events in the form of art competitions.

But even before the 1912 Olympic Games, Coubertin made arrangements for an Olympic Art Competition. In October 1909 he announced that the IOC would sponsor an International Architecture Competition. This was eventually held in Lausanne in 1911 with 21 entrants submitting plans for a modern Olympic city. The competition was won by [Eugène-Edouard Monod] and [Alphonse Laverrière], for their design entitled “A Modern Olympia on the Right Bank of Lake Geneva.”

The Swedish Olympic Committee made plans to conduct the first Olympic art competitions in 1912. They contacted the Swedish Art Institutions and Associations, asking for their assistance. But the competitions were controversial, as one might expect when planning “competition” among a relatively non-competitive group such as artists, and the Art Institutions and Associations had difficulty agreeing on the rules for such competitions.

Discussion among the IOC concerning the art competitions took place at the 11th IOC Session in Luxembourg in 1910. [Viktor Gustaf Balck] was asked to present his report on the progress of the art competitions and noted that it was difficult to interest the Swedish institutions because they felt it was impossible to judge them fairly.

Coubertin then asked [Godefroy de Blonay] (SUI) to chair the discussion of the art competitions. He stated that it had been decided in 1906 to make art competitions a mandatory portion of the Olympic program. Further, he stated that art competitions were a part of the Ancient Olympics and that, if the 1912 Olympics did not include art competitions, Coubertin would show minimal interest in the Games. As a result, the Swedes in attendance agreed to add art competitions to the 1912 Olympic program.

The Swedish Olympic Committee finally announced the rules for the art competitions as follows\:

 

1. The Fifth Olympiad will include competitions in Architecture, Sculpture, Painting, Music, and Literature.

2. The Jury can only consider subjects not previously published, exhibited or performed, and having some direct connection with sport.

3. The winner of each of the five competitions will be awarded the Gold Olympic Medal. The exhibits selected will, as far as possible, be published, exhibited or performed during the Olympic Games of 1912.

4. Competitors must notify their intention of entering for one or more of these competitions before the 15 January, 1912, and the exhibits themselves must be in the hands of the Jury before the 1 March, 1912.

5. No limitations as to size or form are laid down for manuscripts, plans, drawings or canvases, but sculptors are required to send in clay models, not exceeding 80 centimetres in height, length, or width.

6. For further information, application should be made to M. le Président du Comité International Olympique, 20, Rue Oudinot, Paris.

 

The jury decided the awards in the five categories, giving out five gold medals, and a lone silver medal in sculpture. But what or who constituted the jury? The Swedish Organizing Committee gave 5,000 French francs to the IOC to carry out the arts contests. The works were sent to 20, rue Oudinot in Paris, the address of Pierre de Coubertin. It is possible, perhaps likely, that he was the entire judge and jury for the arts contests, a fact made especially notable when one realizes he was awarded one of the gold medals. After the decisions were made, all the prize-winning works were brought to Stockholm, where they were exhibited in a hall at Karlapan 10, two blocks away from the Olympic Stadium.

Art competitions were held as part of the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden. It was the first time that art competitions were part of the Olympic program. Medals were awarded in five categories (architecture, literature, music, painting, and sculpture), for works inspired by sport-related themes.

Art competitions were part of the Olympic program from 1912 to 1948, but were discontinued due to concerns about amateurism and professionalism. Since 1952, a non-competitive art and cultural festival has been associated with each Games.

 

Medal summary

Category Gold Silver Bronze
Architecture  Eugène-Edouard Monod and Alphonse Laverrière (SUI)
Building plan of a modern stadium
none awarded none awarded
Literature  Pierre de Frédy, Baron de Coubertin[1] (FRA)
"Ode to Sport"
none awarded none awarded
Music  Riccardo Barthelemy (ITA)
"Olympic Triumphal March"
none awarded none awarded
Painting  Giovanni Pellegrini (ITA)
Three connected friezes representing "Winter Sports"
none awarded none awarded
Sculpture  Walter Winans (USA)
Bronze statuette "An American trotter"
 Georges Dubois (FRA)
Model of the entrance to a modern stadium
none awarded
1.de Coubertin's entry was submitted by the pseudonym of "Georges Hohrod" and "Martin Eschbach" from Germany. 
 

Medal table

At the time, medals were awarded to these artists, but art competitions are no longer regarded as official Olympic events by the International Olympic Committee. These events do not appear in the IOC medal database,[1] and these totals are not included in the IOC's medal table for the 1912 Games.[2]

 
Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Italy (ITA) 2 0 0 2
2  France (FRA) 1 1 0 2
3   Switzerland (SUI) 1 0 0 1
 United States (USA) 1 0 0 1
Totals (4 nations) 5 1 0 6
 
 

Olympic Art Competition 

 (by http://olympic-museum.de/art/1912.php)
 CONCOURS D’ART

It was, of course, quite natural, that, when the Olympic Games were revived in our days, a wish should be strongly expressed to also include the thought entertained by the ancients, and unite intellectual feats to the physical displays at Olympic Competitions.

In connection with this idea, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, President of the International Olympic Committee has been a very ardent champion for the establishment of art competitions in connection with the modem Olympic Games and, on his initiative, it was determined by the International Olympic Committee as early as 1906 that, from the year 1908, the Olympiads recurring regularly each fourth year, should also include a “Concours d’Art”. The short time at the disposal of the organizers of the Olympic Games of London, 1908, did not permit of the execution of this design, so that nothing came of the matter at the Fourth Olympiad. The question was discussed again, however, after the London Games, and, at the Meetings of the International Olympic Committee at Berlin, 1909, and at Luxemburg, 1910, the decided opinion was expressed that, in connection with the Olympic Games of 1912, an announcement should be made of an art competition in architecture, sculpture, painting, music, and literature, to embrace works directly inspired by athletic sports.

In consequence of this definite demand for an art competition in connection with the Fifth Olympiad, the Swedish Olympic Committee applied to the Swedish Art Institutions and Associations, asking their opinion in the matter. These artistic circles advised great caution, however, in respect to the organizing of such a competition. The Royal Academy gave it as its decided opinion that, if an artcompetition was arranged, with the limitations fixed by the International Olympic Committee, it could hardly embrace anything but architecture, while, on the other hand, works of sculpture and painting would, in such a competition, be considered principally in the light of illustrations, calculated to glorify athletic life, and therefore presupposing in the artist, in the first place, a knowledge of the technics of athletics. The works in question, consequently, would not be judged merely as works of art, and, the competition, from an artistic point of view, would, therefore, be without meaning. 

The Royal Academy also pointed out the difficulty of obtaining any suitable exhibition premises in Stockholm, and also the absence of means of erecting such a place in the vicinity of the scene of the Olympic Games. The Academy, therefore, advised the Swedish Olympic Committee not to organize such a competition as the one in question. The Swedish Society of Arts pointed out that, while no serious remarks could be made against the plan as far as architecture was concerned, the case was quite different in respect to the regulations for painting and sculpture. Unlike the other arts, architecture always serves a more or less practical end. With regard to a competition in painting or sculpture, on the other hand, it must always be an indispensable condition that the principal motive of the competition is, purely and simply — art. This seemed not to be so in the present case, and as the successful works of art in question were not to be awarded the Olympic prizes, merely, or even principally, on account of their artistic merits, the competitions at once became purposeless. The Society, however, advised the holding of an Art Exhibition in connection with the Olympic Games.

The Section for Architecture of the Swedish Technological Society replied, that, even if it fully perceived the attractiveness of the proposal to fashion the modem Olympic Games, with the aid of art, in accordance with their classic prototypes, it was not able to advise the holding of the proposed competition, chiefly on account of the vast machinery and great expense necessary for its organization, and of the comparatively small results that could be expected. The Section wished to suggest, however, that, of the alternatives — a competition or an exhibition — an international competition in architecture should be chosen, in accordance with a definite programme. The Artists’ Association decided both against a competition and an exhibition, while the Artists’ Union expressed itself sympathetically as far as an exhibition was concerned. “The Free Artists” Society pointed out in its reply that, although the proposal to awaken artistic interest in healthful athletic sport appeared a most attractive one, still, it was impossible to realize the idea in the form of an art competition. On the other hand, the Society thought that an Art Exhibition in connection with the Olympic Games of 1912, would be a very suitable measure to adopt. In consequence of these expressions of opinion, the Swedish Olympic Committee, at a meeting held on the 6 February, 1912, resolved not to include the Concours d’Art in the programme of the Games, as the concensus of opinion in artistic circles in Sweden was against such a competition being held, and as, without the assistance of the leading artists of the country, the organization of such a competition would be associated with insuperable difficulties. A sum not exceeding 5,000 francs was granted, however, to be placed at the disposal of the International Olympic Committee, in the event of that body, in accordance with an alternative proposal made by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, determining to organize such a competition itself.

As a matter of fact, the International Olympic Committee afterwards determined to arrange such a competition as the one in question, and the following notice, with the propositions for the competition, was issued through the Swedish Olympic Committee:

1. The Fifth Olympiad will include: competitions in Architecture, Sculpture, 
    Painting, Music, and Literature.

2. The Jury can only consider subjects not previously published, exhibited or
    performed, and having some direct connection with sport.

3. The winner of each of the five competitions will be awarded the Gold
    Olympic Medal. The exhibits selected will, as far as possible, be published,
    exhibited or performed during the Olympic Games of 1912.

4. Competitors must notify their intention of entering for one or more of these
    competitions before the 15 January, 1912, and the exhibits themselves must
    be in the hands of the Jury before the 1 March, 1912.

5. No limitations as to size or form are laid down for manuscripts, plans, drawings
    or canvases, but sculptors are required to send in clay models, not exceeding
    80 centimetres in height, length or width.

6. For further information, application should be made to M. le Président du
    Comité International Olympique, 20, Rue Oudinot, Paris.

Text from: Official Report 1912 Stockholm,  page 806

                      The prizes were awarded as follows:


Designs for Town Planning:

 
1912 1st Eugène-Edouard Monod  + SUI Building plan of a modern stadium
    Alphonse Laverriére     
  2nd no prize was awarded    
  3rd no prize was awarded    

Sculpture:

 
1912 1st Walter Winans USA An American Trotter 
  2nd Georges Dubois FRA Model of the entrance to a modern stadium
  3rd no prize was awarded    

Paintings:

 
1912 1st Giovanni Pellegrini  ITA Winter Sports
  2nd no prize was awarded    
  3rd no prize was awarded    

Literature - All Kinds:

 
1912 1st Pierre Frédi Baron de Coubertin FRA Ode to Sport
  2nd no prize was awarded    
  3rd no prize was awarded

Music - All Kinds:

 
1912 1st Riccardo Barthelemy  ITA Olympic Triumphal March
  2nd no prize was awarded    
  3rd no prize was awarded    
   

Mixed Architecture

Host City: Stockholm, Sweden
Venue(s): Karla Road 10, Stockholm
Date Started: May 5, 1912
Date Finished: July 27, 1912

Summary

The winners of the architecture prize, [Eugène-Edouard Monod] and [Alphonse Laverrière], had already taken part in the IOC-sponsored International Architecture Competition, held in Lausanne in 1911. With their design entitled (A Modern Olympia on the Right Bank of Lake Geneva), they had earned the first prize. For Stockholm 1912, they sent in a derivative work (Building Plan of a Modern Stadium). Despite the originality requirement for the Olympic art competitions, the jury (which may have consisted solely of [Pierre, Baron de Coubertin] himself) apparently did not notice - or bother.

The names of the 1912 Olympic art competitors mostly derive from an anonymous piece of paper in the IOC archives. Although deciphered by Richard Stanton, not all of the names have been matched to known architects, notably Laffen, Eccard and Rees.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal  
1 Alphonse Laverrière 39 Switzerland SUI Gold  
1 Eugène-Édouard Monod 40 Switzerland SUI Gold  
AC A. Laffen   Unknown UNK    
AC André Collin   Belgium BEL    
AC Frantz Jourdain 64 France FRA    
AC Fritz Eccard   Unknown UNK    
AC Guillaume Fatio 46 Switzerland SUI    
AC Jacob Rees 67 Great Britain GBR    
AC Julius Skarba-Wallraf   Germany GER    
AC Konrad Hippenmeier 31 Switzerland SUI  

Mixed Literature

Host City: Stockholm, Sweden
Venue(s): Karla Road 10, Stockholm
Date Started: May 5, 1912
Date Finished: July 27, 1912

Summary

The gold medal for literature was awarded to “Georges Hohrod et M. Eschbach, Germany” for the work “Ode to Sport,” which was submitted in three languages - French, English, and German. But in reality, the poetic ode had been written by [Pierre, Baron de Coubertin], who entered it in the competitions under the dual pseudonym. Coubertin had used the name Georges Hohrod previously, publishing an autobiographic novel Le Roman d'un rallié, under that pseudonym in 1899. It is believed that M. Eschbach was his wife, Marie (née Rothan), who grew up partly in Germany, and that she translated the work into German.

But what of the names Hohrod and Eschbach? Until recently, the source of the names was not known. But an article by Jean Durry in Olympic Review has shed light on the mystery. Durry attempted to find the home in Luttenbach that had once belonged to the Rothan family, Coubertin's in-laws. Driving in the Fecht Valley near Alsace, Durry came across the small town of Hohrodberg. Very near Hohrodberg, Durry also found the small town of Eschbach-au-Val. Although he does not describe it in as much detail, this was noted earlier (1994) by Norbert Müller, who wrote in a footnote in his book on Olympic Congresses, “The author of this book discovered that the pseudonyms Hohrod and Eschbach were the names of two neighboring villages of the native village of Coubertin's wife, Luttenbach, near Colmar.”

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal Title  
1 Pierre, Baron de Coubertin 49 Germany GER Gold Ode to Sport  
AC Gabriele D'Annunzio 49 Italy ITA      
AC Marcel Boulenger 38 France FRA      
AC Maurice Pottecher 44 France FRA      
AC Gabriel Letainturier-Fradin   France FRA      
AC Paul Adam 49 France FRA  

Mixed Music

Host City: Stockholm, Sweden
Venue(s): Karla Road 10, Stockholm
Date Started: May 5, 1912
Date Finished: July 27, 1912

Summary

The person who won the first Olympic music medal, Richard Barthélemy is sort of an enigma. In a 2003 article on the composer in Journal of Olympic History, Bernhard Kramer tried to piece together the musician's history. His name is seen as Ricardo, Riccardo and Richard, while his surname is also listed as Barthelemi. His nationality, listed as Italian in the 1912 Official Report, is not certain, as he was born in present-day Turkey, lived in Italy, later proclaimed himself to be French, and died living in Belgium. Barthélemy's main claim to fame is accompanying the great Italian tenor, Enrico Caruso.

Olympic Review sang praise of Barthélemy's entry in 1912, noting the "there were no competitors deserving of comparison with him and without his participation we would have suggested that the medal was not awarded at all."

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal Title  
1 Richard Barthélemy   Italy ITA Gold Olympic Triumphal March  
AC Ethel Barnard   Great Britain GBR      
AC Gustave Doret 45 Switzerland SUI      
AC Max d'Ollone 36 France FRA      
AC Émile Jaques-Dalcroze 46 Switzerland SUI  

Mixed Painting

Host City: Stockholm, Sweden
Venue(s): Karla Road 10, Stockholm
Date Started: May 5, 1912
Date Finished: July 27, 1912

Summary

Only four painters are known to have entered the first Olympic painting competition. The winner, [Carlo Pellegrini], had been invited by [Pierre, Baron de Coubertin], who was likely also the jury for the competition. Living in Switzerland, Pellegrini often painted winter scenes, which he also did for his winning work in the 1912 Olympics, called )Winter Sports).

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal Title  
1 Carlo Pellegrini 45 Italy ITA Gold Winter Sports  
AC Ernest Townsend 32 Great Britain GBR      
AC Joseph Ferdinand Gueldry 53 France FRA      
AC Jean François Raffaëlli 62 France FRA  

Mixed Sculpturing

Host City: Stockholm, Sweden
Venue(s): Karla Road 10, Stockholm
Date Started: May 5, 1912
Date Finished: July 27, 1912

Summary

The gold medal winner in sculpture was [Walter Winans] of the United States, who won for his bronze statuette of “An American Trotter.” Winans also competed at Stockholm in shooting, appearing in six different events, and winning a silver medal in the running deer, team competition. Winans had also competed in shooting at London in 1908, where he had won a gold medal in the individual running deer (double shot) event.

Winans sculpture was given to the Swedish Olympic Committee, who added it to the Swedish Museum of Athletics that was planned for the Olympic Stadium. The non-medal winning work by [Tait McKenzie], a bronze cast medallion, entitled “The Joy of Effort,” was also given to the Swedish Olympic Committee, and inserted in the outer wall of the Olympic Stadium.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal Title  
1 Walter Winans 60 United States USA Gold An American Trotter  
2 Georges Dubois   France FRA Silver Modern of the Entrance to a Modern Stadium  
AC Otakar Å paniel 30 Bohemia BOH      
AC Tait McKenzie 44 Canada CAN      
AC Rembrandt Bugatti 27 Italy ITA      
AC Victor Segoffin 45 France FRA      
AC Paolo, Prince Trubetskoy 46 Russia RUS      
AC Antoni Wiwulski 35 Poland POL  
   

 

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