Collection in Focus

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Darrell K Royal 2005 Championship Ring

Darrell K Royal 2005 Championship Ring

When Mack Brown was named head football coach at the University of Texas in 1998, he was immediately tasked with returning Longhorn football to a place of national prominence and a culture of winning. Wisely, he sought out the insights and expertise of Darrell Royal, a man who coached the Longhorns for twenty years, won...

March 9, 2020April 29, 2020
George Jowett’s letter to Ottley Coulter 6/22/1922

George Jowett’s letter to Ottley Coulter 6/22/1922

One of the most fascinating aspects of working in the Stark Center is the ability to work with personal letters from one physical culturist to another. This letter from George F. Jowett to Ottley R. Coulter represented a conversation between two prominent American physical culturists. In the letter, the two men discuss the foundation of...

March 2, 2020July 13, 2020
Narragansett Machine Co. Standard Bicycle Trainer

Narragansett Machine Co. Standard Bicycle Trainer

Manufactured by Narragansett Machine Company of Providence, R.I. around the turn of the twentieth century, this pair of stationary exercise bikes are relics of the “bike boom” that swept the country in the 1890s. Each bike connects to a color-coordinated hand on the nearly 4-foot diameter dial measuring distance; the first rider to cover the...

February 24, 2020January 31, 2020
Photo of Cathy Rigby

Photo of Cathy Rigby

Born in 1952 in Long Beach, California, Cathy Rigby was a popular American gymnast whose fame extended beyond the sport. The highest scoring American gymnast at the Mexico City Olympic Games of 1968, Rigby’s sporting prowess was beyond reproach.  She followed her ’68 Olympic performance with United States National Championships in 1970 and 1972. Fun...

February 17, 2020February 13, 2020
1950s Strongman Valentine

1950s Strongman Valentine

To wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day, we thought we’d share this 1950s children’s Valentine depicting a strongman and his weightlifting pooch. The card, collected by Jan and Terry Todd, is one of several dozen twentieth-century greeting cards in their collection depicting children as weightlifters. Measuring only 2.5 x 4 inches, the card was...

February 14, 2020March 25, 2020
“Portrait of a Powerlifter” by Bill Wiman

“Portrait of a Powerlifter” by Bill Wiman

Painting, oil on canvas. At first glance, there is something curious in Bill Wiman’s “Portrait of a Powerlifter,” a familiarity in the subject’s muted facial expression, which grasps a viewer’s attention like the apparition of celebrity in a crowd. I wrongly assumed the powerlifter was someone famous, someone I’d seen in the movies. As it...

February 10, 2020February 13, 2020
Glass Dancers

Glass Dancers

Teresa Lozano Long gifted this crystal sculpture to the Stark Center in the spring of 2017. Jan and Terry were visiting Teresa at her home in Austin when she decided that the piece should decorate the center’s reading room. In the piece, two glass figures pose together in a balletic lift. The sculpture focuses on...

January 17, 2020January 31, 2020
Bike racers at the Hartford Wheel Club’s bicycle tournament

Bike racers at the Hartford Wheel Club’s bicycle tournament

The bicycle racers posing for this 1889 photograph in Stamford, Connecticut, at the height of the national craze for bicycle racing could not have known that it also captured the end of an era.  At the time this photo was taken, bicycle racing was a hugely popular sport and top riders were handsomely compensated. The...

February 1, 2019February 12, 2020
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