You are here:
Stag at Sharkey's
Stag at Sharkey's
Oil on canvas
Framed: 110 x 140.5 x 8.5 cm (43 5/16 x 55 5/16 x 3 3/8 in.); Unframed: 92 x 122.6 cm (36 1/4 x 48 1/4 in.)
Hinman B. Hurlbut Collection 1133.1922
Bellows was no stranger to Sharkey’s Athletic Club, a raucous saloon with a backroom boxing ring, located near his studio. Founded by Tom “Sailor” Sharkey, an ex-fighter who had also served in the US Navy, the club attracted men seeking to watch or participate in matches. Because public boxing was illegal in New York at the time, a private event had to be arranged in order for a bout to take place. Participation was usually limited to members of a particular club, but whenever an outsider competed, he was given temporary membership and known as a “stag.” Although boxing had its share of detractors who considered it uncouth at best or barbaric at worst, its proponents—among them President Theodore Roosevelt—regarded it a healthy manifestation of manliness. Around the time Bellows painted Stag at Sharkey’s, boxing was moving from a predominantly working-class enterprise to one with greater genteel appeal. For some contemporaries, boxing was a powerful analogy for the notion that only the strongest and fittest would flourish in modern society.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email email@example.com.
Is something not working on this page? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.