Art Competitions at the 1928 Summer Olympics

Dates 17 May – 12 August 1928
Medal Events 16

Based on the ideas of Pierre de Coubertin the Amsterdam Organizing Committee had the option to carry out the art competitions with great care. It formed a “working committee“ with Cornelis W. H. Baard as the Chairman, with J. W. Teilers serving as Secretary-General. In addition an Advisory Committee was formed which was responsible for each of the five categories. Information meetings with the representatives of the various Dutch art organizations were held, and contacts with the NOCs and arts organizations of the participating countries were established. The excellent contact with Edwin Redslob in Germany, which put much effort into German participation, was explicitly mentioned in the Official Report. The working committee worked out a call for proposals which was published in five languages, and was sent to the NOCs at the end of July 1928, with 700 French, 400 German, 450 English, 200 Spanish and 400 Dutch copies printed. In these languages, a registration form was written, and an advertising poster was designed.

On 12 June 1928 the exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam was opened by the Dutch Minister of Education, Arts and Science Marius Alphonse Marie Waszink, with many guests of honor. Sculptures of larger sizes were exhibited in the area of the Olympic Stadium. The exhibition closed on 12 August 1928. Around 10,000 visitors saw the exhibition.

From 1912-24 there were only the five categories in the art competitions (Architecture, Sculpture, Literature, Painting and Music), but in 1928 13 sub-categories were created as follows:

• Architecture: Design For Town Planning; Architectural Designs

• Literature: Lyrical Works; Dramatic Works; Epic Works

• Sculpture: Statues; Medals and Reliefs

• Painting: Paintings; Drawings and Water Colors; Graphic Arts

• Music: Compositions for Orchestra; Compositions for Solo Or Chorus; Compositions for Instrumental and Chamber.

Within the art catalogue the names and addresses of the artists and the name of their art works were sorted by country and then by genres, but the division by genres is not complete, and it is not always clear how the works of art were classified, which is also true for the exhibitions catalogues in 1932 and 1936. According to the artist, a price list of their works was added, so they could be bought after the exhibition. It is obvious that such a list displeased the IOC members as guardians of the amateur ideal, and this was also one of the reasons to abolish the art competitions after 1948. A third part of the catalogues followed with numerous illustrations of the works of art.

The Official Report counted 651 applications (1,150 exhibits) of 370 artists (including 38 women) from 19 countries. Among them were 450 architectural models, drawings and photographs, including 80 medals, 255 sculptures and reliefs, 450 paintings, drawings and graphic works, 40 literary submissions, and 22 melodies. Juries were formed for the five art categories.

Events

Event Status Date Participants NOCs
Architecture, Designs For Town Planning, Open Olympic 17 May – 12 August 1928 3 2
Architecture, Architectural Designs, Open Olympic 17 May – 12 August 1928 3 3
Architecture, Further Entries, Open Olympic 17 May – 12 August 1928 63 12
Literature, Dramatic Works, Open Olympic 17 May – 12 August 1928 5 4
Literature, Epic Works, Open Olympic 17 May – 12 August 1928 15 7
Literature, Lyric Works, Open Olympic 17 May – 12 August 1928 19 9
Music, Compositions for Orchestra, Open Olympic 17 May – 12 August 1928 9 6
Music, Compositions For Solo Or Chorus, Open Olympic 17 May – 12 August 1928 5 5
Music, Instrumental And Chamber, Open Olympic 17 May – 12 August 1928 5 3
Painting, Drawings And Water Colors, Open Olympic 17 May – 12 August 1928 53 12
Painting, Graphic Arts, Open Olympic 17 May – 12 August 1928 33 6
Painting, Paintings, Open Olympic 17 May – 12 August 1928 138 14
Painting, Unknown Event, Open Olympic 17 May – 12 August 1928 3 3
Sculpturing, Medals And Reliefs, Open Olympic 17 May – 12 August 1928 28 10
Sculpturing, Statues, Open Olympic 17 May – 12 August 1928 76 14
Sculpturing, Unknown Event, Open Olympic 17 May – 12 August 1928 5 2
419 (379/40) 19 (19/9)

Medals

Event Gold Silver Bronze
Architecture, Designs For Town Planning, Open Alfred HenselGER Jacques LambertFRA Max LaeugerGER
Architecture, Architectural Designs, Open Jan WilsNED Ejnar Mindedal RasmussenDEN Jacques LambertFRA
Literature, Dramatic Works, Open Paulo maiora canamusITA
Literature, Epic Works, Open Ferenc MezőHUN Ernst WeißGER NetherlandsNED
Literature, Lyric Works, Open Kazimierz WierzyńskiPOL Rudolf BindingGER Johannes WeltzerDEN
Music, Compositions For Orchestra, Open Rudolf SimonsenDEN
Painting, Drawings And Water Colors, Open Jean JacobyLUX Alex VirotFRA Władysław SkoczylasPOL
Painting, Graphic Arts, Open William NicholsonGBR Carl MoosSUI Max FeldbauerGER
Painting, Paintings, Open Isaac IsraëlsNED Laura KnightGBR Walther KlemmGER
Sculpturing, Medals And Reliefs, Open Edwin GrienauerAUT Chris van der HoefNED Edwin ScharffGER
Sculpturing, Statues, Open Paul LandowskiFRA Milo MartinSUI Renée SintenisGER

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Netherlands NED 2 1 1 4
Germany GER 1 2 5 8
France FRA 1 2 1 4
Great Britain GBR 1 1 0 2
Poland POL 1 0 1 2
Austria AUT 1 0 0 1
Hungary HUN 1 0 0 1
Luxembourg LUX 1 0 0 1
Switzerland SUI 0 2 0 2
Denmark DEN 0 1 2 3
Italy ITA 0 1 0 1