Masterful Joe DiMaggio work was utilized for famous Sports Illustrated "Living Legends" lithographs1974 "The Wide Swing" Original Painting by Harvey Dinnerstein. It's the most recognizable DiMaggio artwork in existence, and a top contender for the title in the sport of baseball at large. The familiarity is bred most deeply by the popularity of the print for which the image was commissioned, an entry for the 1974 Sports Illustrated magazine "Living Legends" series that included other iconic athletes like Red Grange, Jack Dempsey and Wilt Chamberlain. But that limited edition of 1,500 lithographs was just the start of the work's conquest of the sports art world, as the painting would later serve as the cover art for several prominent publications including "Summer of '49" by David Halberstam, "Encyclopedia of Major League Baseball: American League Team Histories," and the "Diamonds are Forever: Artists and Writers on Baseball" exhibition catalogue. A wide array of public showings (list at close of text) likewise sowed the seeds of fame for the image.
The magnificent oil portrait captures a legend at the peak of his abilities, as the most gorgeous swing in the sport's history strung together an unbroken chain of fifty-six games with a recorded base hit. A photograph snapped at Washington's Griffith Stadium during that peerless Summer of '41 served as the inspiration for the work, but Dinnerstein's deft brush work evokes an emotional response that no mere snapshot could supply. The artist's signature appears at lower right of the 24x32" canvas.
Dinnerstein was born in Brooklyn thirteen years before the first edition of the great Yankee/Dodger Fall Classic rivalry in 1941 and studied at the Art Students League of New York with such notable artists as Moses Soyer and Yasuo Kuniyoshi. He's perhaps best known for his series of drawings documenting the Civil Rights upheaval of the 1960's, and his work resides in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the National Museum of American Art, among many others. Still, this remains his most famous single work.
The painting presents in fine, unrestored condition without any condition issues worthy of note. A scattering of gallery tags from various public exhibitions appear on verso of frame, and include some of the following:
Washington, D.C., The National Portrait Gallery; Chicago, Illinois, Chicago Historical Society; New York, The American Museum of Natural History, Champions: Heroes of American Sport, June 1981-1982, illustrated; Youngstown, Ohio, Butler Institute of American Art, Mainstream America: The Collection of Phil Desind, March-April 1987, illustrated on the cover; New York, The New York Museum; Oakland, California, The Oakland Museum of Art, Diamonds are Forever: Artists and Baseball, September-January 1990, illustrated on the cover; Gainesville, Florida, The University of Florida Museum of Art; Deland, Florida, The Deland Museum of Art; Tampa, Florida, The Tampa Museum of Art; Shands Hospital, Florida, Gallery 2000; Danville, Virginia, The Danville Museum of Art; Hollywood, Florida, The Hollywood Art and Culture Center; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Louisiana arts and Sciences Center; Mobile, Alabama, The Fine Arts Museum of the South, Styles Strands and Sequences: American Realist Paintings and Drawings from the Philip Desind Collection, 1991-1995, illustrated South Bend, Indiana, the South Bend Reginal Arts Museum, Getting Real: Twentieth Century Realism from the Philip Desind Collection, September 1994, illustrated, Fitchburg, Massachusetts, Fitchburg Art Museum.
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