Contemporary Art at Historic Northampton
Children of the Game: Northampton Little League Baseball Portraits
by Robert Aller
Opening Reception: Friday, April 8, 2016 | 5 to 8 pm | Northampton's Arts Night Out
Exhibition Dates: April 8 - May 8, 2016
Children of the Game: Northampton Little League Baseball Portraits, an exhibition of color photographs by Robert Aller, will be on view at Historic Northampton from April 8 - May 8.
Aller began this project as he followed his son Jason’s intense involvement with baseball. Children of the Game documents the young players and their families, showing that family support for this sport promotes moral and positive social values. The photographs were taken 30 years ago in 1986.
Baseball in Northampton dates back to 1791, though the sport wasn't called that until the 1830s. Teams emerged after the Civil War: the first, “Champions of the Army of the Potomac,” was a group of Union soldiers from this region awaiting discharge near Washington, DC. On their return to the Northampton area, a new team, the Florence Eagles, was formed to challenge them. The two teams first played on the grounds by the Mill River (today's Maine’s Field). To the surprise of nearly everyone, the Hampshire Gazette reported, the Eagle Base Ball Club defeated the army veterans 30-3.
The Florence Eagles may have had the first integrated baseball club in the country; Luther B. Askin played first base from 1865 to 1866. Stu Miller became the first Major League player from this area; from 1952 to 1968 he pitched for the Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals. Playing fields once used by the Florence Eagles are still filled with teams and spectators in the summer months.
Contemporary Art at Historic Northampton exhibits the work of artists who draw on local history or artifacts in the museum collection for inspiration.
Each exhibit is paired with a related history lecture:
The Contemporary Art at Historic Northampton program is supported by a generous grant from the Art Angels Fund at the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.
Please note that exhibits are not accessible when programs are in session. Click here to view the program calendar.
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