A selection from the famed Conlon Collection of early baseball photography will be on display at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago, Aug. 3-7.
The collection will be presented by the copyright holder, Rogers Photo Archives of North Little Rock, which acquired the full Sporting News archives in 2010. The glass negatives of Charles Conlon were the gem of the archives, and for baseball fans, is the equivalent of Mathew Brady’s Civil War photography. The full collection numbers some 8,400 images.
Conlon (1868-1945) was the first prominent photographer of turn-of-the-century baseball, doing most of his shooting in New York’s ballparks, where players from both leagues performed. In an age where action photography was rare, Conlon, using field access, shot some of the most significant portrayals of the early game in existence.
His classic is considered to be Ty Cobb sliding hard into third baseman Jimmy Austin, in a game played between the Detroit Tigers and the New York Highlanders (the forerunners of the Yankees) at Hilltop Park in Manhattan. That photo will not only be on display, but celebrated New York artist Adam Port will be on hand-painting a representation of the photo during convention hours.
Also present will be the noted collector and company president John Rogers, who will also have booths for Rogers Photo Archives and PlanetGIANT. (Check convention program for booth locations at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center).
In marketing the Conlon Collection, RPA works directly from the original glass negatives. Previous marketing of the collection was done largely by selling photos from negatives shot off originals.