We have many documents and artefacts that reveal a hidden side to those involved in the Olympic Movement. One of those is a stunning personal album, dating from the 1880s, which brings to light the artistic talent of Pierre de Coubertin.
Pierre de Coubertin, French educator and historian, is well known for being a visionary in the Olympic movement. What many people don't know is that he was a skilled pianist and artist.
He always saw the Olympic Games as more than just a sporting event, viewing it instead as a place where people could educate both their bodies and their minds. He added an arts competition to the 1912 Stockholm games, which was on the Olympic Programme until 1952.
Between 1882-1885 Coubertin created a fascinating album, richly decorated with ink and watercolour drawings, which reveals the importance of art in his personal life. The pages show his popularity in Parisian high society with interesting business cards and beautiful invitations to tea dances and parties from the most important ladies of the day (although there is nothing from his future wife, Marie Rothan). It’s a captivating insight into his world at the time and we would be happy to show you this and other treasures from our collections on your next visit to the OSC.