The Photography of Stephen Green-Armytage


Terry and Jan Todd met Stephen Green-Armytage & and his wife Judy in 1977 when they and their Jack Russell pup, Dudley, came to the Todds’ farm in Nova Scotia so that Stephen could photograph Jan for an article about her in Sports Illustrated. They have been friends ever since, and in subsequent years Stephen also took the photos for a number of articles Terry wrote for the magazine. Two years ago, after the establishment of the Stark Center and the Weider Museum, Stephen began donating his collection of sports photography to the Center. Below, in his own words, Stephen explains his work.

From the late 1960s through most of the 1980s I did many assignments for Sports Illustrated. Only about 10% of these were news stories; the rest were referred to as “feature stories.” I also did sports for LIFE Magazine and a few other publications. As you can see, I was exposed to a great number of interesting people, places, and situations – some of them familiar, others rather obscure. Often I was encouraged to stray from the main action, and to record the scenes, the atmosphere , the coaches and trainers, even the fans and their food and drink.

Some people feel that the 30 years or so starting in the mid-1960s were a particularly lively period for Sports Illustrated. Black and white was gradually being phased out until the photographs were almost all in color. The last decade or two, on the other hand, have produced many wonderful action pictures, but the tendency is to concentrate on the competitive aspects of popular sports.

Visitors to these three galleries will be able to see pictures representing 46 different sports, taken in 15 different countries and in 23 different US states. While recording the dates of the pictures, I saw that the majority were taken during the 1970s. This may seem a long time ago, but many of the scenes have not changed much, and many of the names are still well-known – Nicklaus, Unser, Wilt Chamberlain, Billie Jean King, Joe Frazier, Secretariat… Others deserve to be better remembered.

– Stephen Green-Armytage , April 2011