A drawing of a man holding a tennis racket.

ART! Courting Caricatures, International Tennis Hall of Fame

by Nancy Thomas

Courting Caricatures: The Art of Marcel Niederle

Marcel Niederle was a well-known Czech artist and tennis fan specializing in painting, drawing, and illustrations. After spending a number of years in New York City as an illustrator for Sports Illustrated magazine, Niederle returned to his native Czechoslovakia and corresponded with the founder and editor of World Tennis Magazine, Hall of Famer Gladys Heldman.

Over the years, he sent almost 200 caricatures and drawings to Heldman for possible inclusion in the magazine. The selections of Niederle’s caricatures in the exhibit feature Hall of Famers illustrated during their playing days, from the 1950s through the 1970s, including Arthur Ashe, Maria Bueno, Rod Laver, Stan Smith, and more.

Visitors additionally have the opportunity to draw their own caricature to add alongside the exhibit and share on social media. 

This unique exhibit is highlighted as one of the four new exhibits at the International Tennis Hall of Fame. They include Il Tennis Nell’Arte: The Gianni Clerici Collection, Courting Caricatures: The Art of Marcel Niederle, a tribute to Hall of Famer Lleyton Hewitt, and an interactive globe featuring the digital exhibit Breaking Boundaries in Black Tennis.

About the Museum

The museum showcases more of the collection than ever before. Nearly 2000 objects are displayed from the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s collection of more than 25,000 artifacts and hundreds of thousands of images, videos, and publications. Dating to the 12th century and constantly evolving today, tennis has a storied history rooted in inspirational champions, impactful leaders, and great moments that have influenced history, on and off the court.  The Museum at the International Tennis Hall of Fame shares the narrative of tennis history from its origins through present day. It is split into three areas, The Birth of Tennis (1874 – 1918); The Popular Game (1918 – 1968); and The Open Era (1968 – Present)

For details on the exhibits, go to:

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