Gridiron Greats: Vintage Football Cards in the Collection of Jefferson R. Burdick at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

January 24–February 10, 2014

Goudey Gum Company (American, Boston, Massachusetts) Knute Rockne, Football, 1933 American,  Commercial Lithograph; Sheet: 2 7/8 x 2 3/8 in. (7.3 x 6 cm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Jefferson R. Burdick Collection, Gift of Jefferson R. Burdick (Burdick 326, R338.36) http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/414474

Goudey Gum Company (American, Boston, Massachusetts)
Knute Rockne, Football, 1933
American,
Commercial Lithograph; Sheet: 2 7/8 x 2 3/8 in. (7.3 x 6 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Jefferson R. Burdick Collection, Gift of Jefferson R. Burdick (Burdick 326, R338.36)

On the occasion of the 2014 Super Bowl—the first ever played in the New York area—the Metropolitan Museum of Art will display a selection of vintage football cards from the celebrated collection of Jefferson R. Burdick (1900–1963). In 1947, the Syracuse electrician began to donate his collection of approximately 303,000 trade and postcards to the Museum. The Burdick collection constitutes an integral part of the Museum’s collection of ephemera and tells the history of popular printmaking in the United States. Shown for the first time in this exhibition, the football cards document the sport through media ranging from lithography to photography.

National Chicle Gum Company, Cambridge, Massachusetts "Stan" Kostka, Touchdown Next Stop!, from the "Baseball and Football" set (R311), issued by the National Chicle Company to promote Diamond Stars Gum, 1936 American,  Albumen print (glossy finish); Sheet: 6 in. × 8 1/16 in. (15.3 × 20.5 cm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Jefferson R. Burdick Collection, Gift of Jefferson R. Burdick (Burdick 324, R311.33) http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/632281

National Chicle Gum Company, Cambridge, Massachusetts
“Stan” Kostka, Touchdown Next Stop!, from the “Baseball and Football” set (R311), issued by the National Chicle Company to promote Diamond Stars Gum, 1936
American,
Albumen print (glossy finish); Sheet: 6 in. × 8 1/16 in. (15.3 × 20.5 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Jefferson R. Burdick Collection, Gift of Jefferson R. Burdick (Burdick 324, R311.33)

Highlights include football cards from 1894 by the tobacco company Mayo—the first such cards to be produced. The rare John Dunlop (Harvard) card will be on view, along with other early collegiate standouts. The exhibition will also feature Hall of Famers such as Coach Knute Rockne, Red Grange, Bronko Nagurski, Jim Thorpe, and Sid Luckman; New York icons such as Frank Gifford, Tom Landry, Charlie Conerly, and Emlen Tunnell; and lesser-known players, coaches, and owners. The latest set comes from Bazooka Chewing Gum in 1959 and includes Johnny Unitas, who became a household name after his last-second heroics in the 1958 NFL title game, often called “the greatest game ever played.” Also featured will be rare action photographs of varsity teams who played American football long before the founding of a national league in 1920 or the first Super Bowl in 1967.

P.H. Mayo & Brother, Richmond, Virginia (American) John Dunlop, Yale University, from the College Football Stars series (N302) for Mayo's Cut Plug Tobacco, 1894 American,  Commercial lithograph; Sheet: 2 13/16 × 1 5/8 in. (7.2 × 4.2 cm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Jefferson R. Burdick Collection, Gift of Jefferson R. Burdick (Burdick 222, N302.33) http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/632454

P.H. Mayo & Brother, Richmond, Virginia (American)
John Dunlop, Yale University, from the College Football Stars series (N302) for Mayo’s Cut Plug Tobacco, 1894, American,
Commercial lithograph; Sheet: 2 13/16 × 1 5/8 in. (7.2 × 4.2 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Jefferson R. Burdick Collection, Gift of Jefferson R. Burdick (Burdick 222, N302.33)

 The Jefferson R. Burdick Collection, Gift of Jefferson R. Burdick (Burdick 325, R331.34)

The Jefferson R. Burdick Collection, Gift of Jefferson R. Burdick 

P.H. Mayo & Brother, Richmond, Virginia (American) Murphy, Yale University, from the College Football Stars series (N302) for Mayo's Cut Plug Tobacco, 1894 American,  Commercial lithograph; Sheet: 2 13/16 × 1 5/8 in. (7.2 × 4.2 cm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Jefferson R. Burdick Collection, Gift of Jefferson R. Burdick (Burdick 222, N302.30)

P.H. Mayo & Brother, Richmond, Virginia (American)
Murphy, Yale University, from the College Football Stars series (N302) for Mayo’s Cut Plug Tobacco, 1894
American,
Commercial lithograph; Sheet: 2 13/16 × 1 5/8 in. (7.2 × 4.2 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Jefferson R. Burdick Collection, Gift of Jefferson R. Burdick (Burdick 222, N302.30)

Goudey Gum Company (American, Boston, Massachusetts) Harold "Red" Grange, Football, 1933 American,  Commercial Lithograph; Sheet: 2 7/8 x 2 3/8 in. (7.3 x 6 cm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Jefferson R. Burdick Collection, Gift of Jefferson R. Burdick (Burdick 326, R338.5)

Goudey Gum Company (American, Boston, Massachusetts)
Harold “Red” Grange, Football, 1933
American,
Commercial Lithograph; Sheet: 2 7/8 x 2 3/8 in. (7.3 x 6 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Jefferson R. Burdick Collection, Gift of Jefferson R. Burdick (Burdick 326, R338.5)

 The Jefferson R. Burdick Collection, Gift of Jefferson R. Burdick (Burdick 325, R331.34)

The Jefferson R. Burdick Collection, Gift of Jefferson R. Burdick