Art was part of the Olympic Games from 1912 through 1948, when medals were awarded for competitions in music, literature, architecture, sculpture and painting. Although the Olympic Games had their foundation in ancient Greece, the modern version was introduced after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was founded by Baron Pierre de Coubertin in 1894. He had a vision of an Olympian be not just an athlete but also to have talent in the fine arts. The art portion of the Olympic Games continued until after the 1948 Games, when future IOC president Avery Brundage fought to eliminate it.
More about art and the Olympic Games:
- The first Olympic Games to have an art competition were the 1912 Stockholm Games, where 33 artists competed.
- Any medals that were awarded in any of the art categories have since been eliminated from each country’s total Olympic Medal count.
- Brundage, an American who became president of the IOC in 1952 and was an integral part of the arts competitions being removed from the Olympic Games, competed in the 1932 Games in the literature category.