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Bellows continued to find tennis an enjoyable pastime after his relocation to New York.
He played it there with his future wife Emma during their courtship, and he was recognized by others for his abilities.
He continued playing basketball after moving to New York, too, especially in the winter when baseball was not in season, and he was able to earn spare cash playing as a semi-pro on the New York Colonials team.
Bellows was recognized for his outstanding athleticism by many.
He played at the YMCA and in high school in Ohio, and became a well-known star player for Ohio State as well.
He rarely made images of baseball or basketball, and he had little personal involvement in boxing, the sport that is best known in his art.
Bellows’ artistic reputation both in his lifetime and today is heavily based on his images of boxing, among them his important paintings of boxing matches titled (1909, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. It is likely that Bellows played tennis in his youth in Ohio.
The following text was written collaboratively by Steve Wilkinson, nationally recognized and honored as long-time coach of the highly successful men’s tennis program at Gustavus Adolphus College, and Donald Myers, Director, Hillstrom Museum of Art.
It was produced as part of a recurring exhibit program of the Hillstrom Museum of Art titled FOCUS IN/ON, in which individual works in the Hillstrom Collection are explored in depth in a collaborative process that engages the expertise of College community members across the curriculum and co-curriculum.