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“The Pre-Meet Scene” of the Millrose Games, Madison Square Garden, New York: Study for “Sports Illustrated”
Date: 1955
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Medium: Watercolor and gouache on Whatman Drawing Board
Dimensions: Overall: 25 7/16 × 39 3/4 in. (64.6 × 101 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Time Inc.
Object Number: 2015.41.18
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Inscribed: Verso inscribed at center in graphite: “JOHN GROTH / Millrose Games / used 2/7/55”; publication annotations at upper right in graphite: “0–55–9–511”

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The Millrose Games, an annual indoor athletics meet for track and field held each February in New York City, began in 1908 at a local armory. That same year its parent, the Millrose Athletic Association, was formed as a recreational club, the Millrose Track Club, by the employees of John Wanamaker Department Store. “Millrose” was the name of the country home of Rodman Wanamaker. From 1914 to 2011 the games were held at Madison Square Garden, and in 2012 moved to the Armory in Washington Heights.

John Groth’s watercolor with his impressions of the “Pre-Meet Scene” of the games illustrated in an article by Bogart Rogers, “Preview: Millrose Games,” in the February 7, 1955, issue of Sports Illustrated, as a two-page spread (pages 50–51). The artist also contributed three other illustrations to this article.