Baseball cards and fine art

I mentioned seeing a selection of baseball cards at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in my last post, but that wasn’t the only thing I saw on my visit to the museum last Saturday. I made my way through the Modern and Contemporary Art Wing, spent some time in the American Wing, and also wandered through the section of European Paintings from 1250-1800, where I saw this portrait of Hermann von Wedigh III from 1532 (below left) by Hans Holbein the Younger. Considering I saw this painting after viewing the baseball cards, it made me realize there are some similarities in style and presentation with certain baseball cards to fine art such as Holbein’s painting. Check out this baseball card of Fred Fitzsimmons from the 1933 Goudey set … both images show the upper body and head of the man against a bright blue background, looking directly out at the viewer. Both images also feature writing in all caps in the picture area, and both men have an object in their hands.

To be honest, I’m sure the graphic designer working on the 1933 Goudey set wasn’t thinking of Hans Holbein the Younger when he set up the Fred Fitzsimmons baseball card, but it’s fun to find this comparison point between two wildly different types of objects at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Hans Holbein painting and Fred Fitzsimmons baseball card at the Met

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