Gift of Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. 1936.630
Catalogue raisonné: Mason 20
An astute observer, chronicler, and interpreter of the world around him, Bellows presented his sporting subjects as microcosms of society. In this gently satiric image set in a YMCA gymnasium, corporate workers struggle to keep up with their more physically fit instructor during a calisthenics workout with dumbbells. At the time, some pundits worried over potentially debilitating aspects of upper-class urban life, in which increasing numbers of men were engaged in sedentary office work as opposed to traditional manual labor.
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