The Sports Section

Unsafe at Home
Oil on canvas board, 24" x 32"
Anonymous donation

The runner successfully avoids the catcher's tag at the plate, only to be swallowed by a mysterious fan. The viewer is left to wonder why the Red Sox player decided to return home from first base.

From - Museum of Bad Art: Masterworks, by Michael Frank and Louise Reilly Sacco, Ten Speed Press

Casey at the Bat
Jeff Ashworth
Oil on canvas, 20" x 16"

Asymmetrical limbs and a flexible bat help this all-star develop tremendous torque at the plate. The spectators silently gaze, transfixed. Many of them may have also witnessed Christ's entry into Brussels.

Christ’s Entry into Brussels
James Ensor (1889)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles


Armless Joe (Opening Day)
Acrylic on canvas panel, 30" x 15"
Donated by Lisa and Jim McClellan
December 2015

Number one-zero looks comfortable batting, quite possibly because, in his haste to begin the season, he stepped up to the plate wearing his comfy slippers.

The Southpaw
Acrylic on canvas panel, 30" x 15"
Donated by Lisa and Jim McClellan
December 2015

Yoga Class
Acrylic on canvas, 20" x 30"
Found in his apartment building lobby in Somerville, MA and donated by Ben Smith
July 2018

We see an unidentified woman achieving the rarely attempted downwardly-mobile pigeon pose.

  • Badminton Anyone?
    Oil on canvas, 16" x 12"
    Purchased at a thrift store in Boston, MA
    March, 2011

    Generations before the invention of pickleball, the genteel social elite in Europe enjoyed playing badminton at lawn parties. The handsome woman depicted in this portrait holds a birdie featuring colorful feathers and a surprisingly modern carbon fiber racquet probably more suited for The Championships of the All England Lawn Tennis Club at Wimbledon.

  • Girl with Racquet and Shuttlecock
    Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin (1787)
    Uffizi Gallery, Firenze

    While fashion of athletic clothing and jewelry have changed over time, athletic women continue to this day to enjoy racquet sports.

  • Serena Williams @ Wimbledon 2012

    Watch the MOBA Curator Talk about this work.

  • They Must be Giants
    C. Charlf
    24" x 16", acrylic on canvas, 24" x 16"
    Anonymous donation

    It is difficult to discern whether player #6 is about to dunk the ball or making a fine defensive rebound. In either case, the excitement of the moment seems to have caused him to lose control of his bodily functions.

The Athlete
Crayon and pencil on canvas, 40" x 30"
Rescued from trash in Boston, MA

The discus thrower's pink mini toga, wing tip shoes, and white socks define athletic sartorial splendor.

This is among the largest crayon on canvas pieces one can ever hope to see.

Point of Impact
Anna K.
Acrylic on canvas, 20" x 24”
Donated by Noah Sawyer
May 2011

The artist uses faux hi-tech medical imagery, what appears to be a death mask, and a violent image of pugilists in action (based on George Bellows' 1924 painting of a match between Jack Dempsey and Luis Ángel Firpo) to illustrate the inherent danger confronting all the faceless athletes who engage in the "sweet science”.

Watch the MOBA Curator Talk video about this work.

Dempsey Through the Ropes
George Bellows (1924)
The Whitney Museum, New York

Dempsey Through the Ropes (lithograph)
George Bellows (1924)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Boxing Rink
Bruce McCall (2022)
New Yorker Magazine cover


The Weightlifter
Tom W.
19" high. Fabric strips, plaster of paris, paint
Salvaged from curbside trash in Boston, MA
June, 2007

The artist celebrates the winning can-do spirit of athletes who, eschewing the advice of coaches, trainers, and chiropractors, accomplish impressive physical feats while using unbelievably poor technique.

From: Museum of Bad Art: Masterworks, by Michael Frank and Louise Reilly Sacco

Flip Flop, Hockey Puck, Tennis Ball, Purse, and Necklace
Oil on canvas, 16" x 20"
Purchased at a thrift store in Boston, MA
October, 2010

The artist offers the viewer a feast of color and texture with an unusual combination of sporting goods and fashion accessories, and made an interesting attempt to make the canvas look like an enlarged 35mm contact print by painting a brown border containing fourteen white rectangles.

The Champion
Madison (2006)
Acrylic on canvas board, 24” x 18”
Purchased at a thrift shop in Boston, MA
August 2018

Exhausted and dirty from combat, the victororious champion wears a garland of flowers and holds a matching bouquet in his right hand that is, strangely enough, at the end of his left arm.