Art and photography mix in a special release honoring one of our most important Hall of Famers.
The Negro League Baseball Museum has commissioned Don Marquess of the Marquess Gallery to create a work honoring the Major League Baseball debut of Jackie Robinson.
Marquess is best known for his high quality prints featuring arrays of baseballs, artistically photographed in a variety of settings or dramatically clustered with the glow of their white, untampered visage. Such is the case with "Finally," in which more than two dozen Rawlings baseballs lay in a scatter-shot design, with one dark ball just off center – stamped JACKIE ROBINSON, APRIL 15, 1947 – the date of his Brooklyn Dodgers debut. It was the date baseball’s color line fell, and the game was never the same.
The work, titled "Finally," was unveiled September 11 at the Kansas City-based Museum in an event honoring Buck O’Neil. Among the guests were Ozzie Smith, Frank White, and Marquess, who signed copies for attendees.
The prints are 24"x18" and sell for $45. Members of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum receive signed prints. The prints can be ordered for $45 from the museum by calling 888 221-NLBM (6526) or from the Gallery at 877 977-7773. Major credit cards are accepted. The initial printing is 1,500 editions and is expected to raise nearly $35,000 for the Museum.
Marquess Gallery is located in Union Station, St. Louis, and is a frequent destination for players visiting St. Louis, for tourists and for baseball fans. Don Marquess was the official photographer of Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball and of Sammy Sosa’s 66th home run baseball as well as the official photographer of the commemorative print for the Minor League’s 100 year anniversary.
Among its recent offerings which have received national attention are "Beisbol" featuring a baseball against the backdrop of the flags of all the Latin American nations that have sent players to the major leagues, the humorous "Relief Pitcher," featuring a collection of baseballs in a glass pitcher, and "It’s a Goner", honoring the home run call of broadcaster John Rooney as the cover is knocked off the ball and the sphere of yarn is sent soaring. The latter is a Boys & Girls Club fund-raising poster.
Don Marquess has developed a photo style in which elements of the game of baseball – bats, bases, gloves, and primarily the baseballs themselves – are captured in a still life form in the highest grade photographic process. Marquess shoots with 50 ASA film in natural light, without a tripod, producing prints that approximate 95 megapixels in quality – about six times greater than a digital camera produces.
Jackie Robinson on eBay