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George Wesley Bellows, American, (August 12, 1882–January 8, 1925)

Creation date: 1916
Creation place: United States

Other Information

Type: Lithograph
Medium and Support: Lithograph
Credit Line: Museum purchase
Accession Number: 1997.14
Dimensions: 15 3/4 in. x 19 1/2 in. (40.01 cm x 49.53 cm)

Label Copy

October 18, 2014
Anita Feldman, Deputy Director of Collections & Exhibitions
George Wesley Bellows
American • 1882–1925
Lithograph • 1916
In 1916 Bellows acquired a lithography press for his studio so that he could more readily explore the potential of the print medium and the issues of pictorial composition. His interest in the sport of boxing naturally made it an important subject in his lithographs. This work, also known as Preliminaries to the Big Bout, depicts a group of spectators dressed in formal clothes, reflecting the fact that prizefights had become a popular form of entertainment for high society and perhaps revealing the artist’s ironic reaction to the phenomenon.
Museum purchase 1997.14
Last Updated: 10/20/2014


This object was included in the following exhibitions:

An American Pulse: The Lithographs of George Wesley Bellows San Diego Museum of Art , 1/30/1999 - 4/18/1999

Look.React.Engage: The Art of Collecting at Two San Diego Museums California Center for the Arts, Escondido , 1/26/2003 - 4/20/2003

American Visions: Place and Identity The San Diego Museum of Art , 10/18/2014 - 3/17/2015


This object has the following bibliographic references:

Mr. D. Scott Atkinson and Charlene S. Engel. An American Pulse: San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1999
Page Number: 16, 83, 85, Figure Number: 11

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