A donation of 179 bronze statues from internationally-acclaimed sculptor Nemeth Ferenc pleased leaders of the American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA), a division of the United States Sports Academy, after what has already been a blockbuster year in art gifts.
“It is a tacit recognition of the American Sport Art Museum and Archives as a world-class repository of art in all forms in the genre,” Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich said, referring to the largest donation in the museum’s history.
Shipments from the collection have already begun, with statues depicting sports legends such as Wayne Gretzky, Tiger Woods, Joe Montana, Willie Mays, Pete Sampras, Carl Lewis and Michael Jordan as well as tributes to other famous people, events, activities and causes. Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are among the many prominent collectors of Ferenc’s work.
The Hungarian sculptor’s first international exhibition was during the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, at which two of his works were purchased by then-International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Juan Antonio Samarach, a noted collector who started the IOC Museum during his tenure.
“This event meant for me that Gods appointed sport as the subject of my works, and cubist figure form as my style,” Ferenc said. “My works made in this spirit have earned the praise of a lot of internationally famous people.”
For the Athens Olympic Games in 2004, he created the street statue of “Olympic Pleasure” as a gift from Hungary. It was placed near the site of the ancient Olympic Games in Olympia, Greece.
Besides cubist bronze pieces, Ferenc also makes figural bronze reliefs of Greek mythological themes. The latest stage of his work is constuctivist, sport elaborating works of art made of stainless steel.
Major donations such as Ferenc’s are making ASAMA, which houses arguably the world’s largest collection of sport art, will undoubtedly enhance the museum’s prestige in the art world.
Founded in 1984, ASAMA is dedicated to the preservation of sports art, history, and literature. The ASAMA collection is composed of more than 1,500 works of sport art across a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, assemblages, prints, and photographs.
The museum is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.