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Art competitions at the 1948 Summer Olympics

Art competitions were held as part of the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain. Medals were awarded in five categories (architecture, literature, music, painting, and sculpture), for works inspired by sport-related themes.

The art exhibition was held at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 15 July to 14 August, and displayed works of art from 27 different countries. The literature competition attracted 44 entries, and the music competition had 36 entries.[1]

The art competitions included multiple subcategories for each of the five artistic categories.[2] The judges declined to award any medals for dramatic works in literature, and no gold medals in another five subcategories. Alex Diggelmann of Switzerland won both a silver medal and a bronze medal for two different entries in the applied arts and crafts subcategory, a feat unlikely to be duplicated in any event in the current Olympic program.

These were the last Games in which art competitions were held, after being in the official program for all Games since 1912.[3] At a meeting of the International Olympic Committee in 1949 it was decided to hold art exhibitions instead, as it was judged illogical to permit professionals to compete in the art competitions while only amateurs were permitted to compete in sporting events.[4] Since 1952 a non-competitive art and cultural festival has been associated with each Games.



Category Gold Silver Bronze
Architectural design   Adolf Hoch (AUT)
"Skisprungschanze auf dem Kobenzl"
  Alfred Rinesch (AUT)
"Watersports Centre in Carinthia"
  Nils Olsson (SWE)
"Baths and Sporting Hall for Gothenburg"
Town planning   Yrjö Lindegren (FIN)
"The Centre of Athletics in Varkaus, Finland"
  Werner Schindler and Edy Knupfer (SUI)
"Swiss Federal Sports and Gymnastics Training Centre"
  Ilmari Niemeläinen (FIN)
"The Athletic Centre in Kemi, Finland"


Category Gold Silver Bronze
Lyric works   Aale Tynni (FIN)
"Laurel of Hellas"
  Ernst van Heerden (RSA)
"Six Poems"
  Gilbert Prouteau (FRA)
"Rythme du Stade"
Dramatic works none awarded none awarded none awarded
Epic works   Giani Stuparich (ITA)
"La Grotta"
  Josef Petersen (DEN)
"The Olympic Champion"
  Éva Földes (HUN)
"The Well of Youth"


Category Gold Silver Bronze
Vocal none awarded none awarded   Gabriele Bianchi (ITA)
"Inno Olimpionico"
Instrumental and chamber none awarded   John Weinzweig (CAN)
"Divertimenti for Solo Flute and Strings"
  Sergio Lauricella (ITA)
"Toccata per Pianoforte"
Choral and orchestral   Zbigniew Turski (POL)
"Olympic Symphony"
  Kalervo Tuukkanen (FIN)
  Erling Brene (DEN)

Painting and graphic artEdit

Category Gold Silver Bronze
Oils and water colours   Alfred Thomson (GBR)
"London Amateur Championships"
  Giovanni Stradone (ITA)
"Le Pistard"
  Letitia Hamilton (IRL)
"Meath Hunt Point-to-Point Races"
Engravings and etchings   Albert Decaris (FRA)
"Swimming Pool"
  John Copley (GBR)
"Polo Players"
  Walter Battiss (RSA)
"Seaside Sport"
Applied arts and crafts none awarded   Alex Diggelmann (SUI)
"World Championship for Cycling Poster"
  Alex Diggelmann (SUI)
"World Championship for Ice Hockey Poster"


Category Gold Silver Bronze
Statues   Gustaf Nordahl (SWE)
"Homage to Ling"
  Chintamoni Kar (GBR)
"The Stag"
  Hubert Yencesse (FRA)
Reliefs none awarded none awarded   Rosamund Fletcher (GBR)
"The End of the Covert"
Medals and plaques none awarded   Oskar Thiede (AUT)
"Eight Sports Plaques"
  Edwin Grienauer (AUT)
"Prize Rowing Trophy"

Medal tableEdit

At the time, medals were awarded to these artists, but art competitions are no longer regarded as official Olympic events by the International Olympic Committee. These events do not appear in the IOC medal database,[5] and these totals are not included in the IOC's medal table for the 1948 Games.[6]

1  Finland (FIN)2114
2  Austria (AUT)1214
  Great Britain (GBR)1214
4  Italy (ITA)1124
5  France (FRA)1023
6  Sweden (SWE)1012
7  Poland (POL)1001
8   Switzerland (SUI)0213
9  Denmark (DEN)0112
  South Africa (RSA)0112
11  Canada (CAN)0101
12  Hungary (HUN)0011
  Ireland (IRL)0011
Totals (13 nations)8111332


  1. ^ (ed.) Lord Burghley (1951). The Official Report of the Organising Committee for the XIV Olympiad (PDF). London: Organising Committee for the XIV Olympiad. pp. 195–198, 535–537. Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-25.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Wagner, Juergen. "Olympic Art Competition 1948 London". Olympic Games Museum. Archived from the original on 16 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
  3. ^ Kramer, Bernhard (May 2004). "In Search of the Lost Champions of the Olympic Art Contests" (PDF). Journal of Olympic History. 12 (2): 29–34. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-25.
  4. ^ Bolanaki, A. (June 1951). "Report on Art Exhibitions" (PDF). Bulletin du Comité International Olympique. Lausanne: International Olympic Committee (27): 34. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
  5. ^ "Olympic Medal Winners". International Olympic Committee. Archived from the original on 28 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
  6. ^ "London 1948 Medal Table". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 2008-03-26.