Baseball at Night

  • Morris Kantor, Baseball at Night, 1934, oil on linen, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Morris Kantor, 1976.146.18

Exhibition Label
Stadium lighting was still rare in 1934 when artist Morris Kantor saw this night baseball game in West Nyack, New York. The artist strove to convey in his painting "the panoramic spectacle of the field, the surrounding landscape, the people, the players, and the nocturnal atmosphere." Kantor showed the field proportionately smaller than it actually was to fit all this into his painting, along with a radio booth, flags waving against the night sky, and a runner taking his lead off first base. Major league baseball would not begin night games until 1935. However, in the early thirties Minor league, Negro League, and exhibition stadiums like this one used portable or permanent lighting for night games that would draw crowds of people who worked during the day.

The Sports Centre at the Clarkstown Country Club, in West Nyack was a versatile venue that hosted baseball games played by minor league teams, barnstorming professionals, local semipro groups of firemen and policemen, and Country Club members. Catering to the Depression-era thirst for varied, affordable entertainment, the Centre also staged boxing and wrestling matches. Eccentric proprietors Pierre A. Bernard and his wife, Blanche de Vries, even maintained a herd of performing elephants.

1934: A New Deal for Artists exhibition label

Baseball at Night
On View
37 x 47 1/4 in. (94.0 x 120.0 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mrs. Morris Kantor

Mediums Description
oil on linen
  • Landscape – time – night
  • Occupation – sport – referee
  • Figure group
  • Occupation – sport – baseball
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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