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VIRTUAL EVENT: PRESENTATION: Curator's Choice: Athlete Frank Hart and America's Walking Craze

Monday, February 22, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Registration is requested
Members and VESP holders: Free | Visitors: $5


Curator's Choice: Athlete Frank Hart and America's Walking Craze

with Ginny Badgett

Before baseball became known as “America’s favorite pastime,” pedestrianism or long-distance competitive walking gripped the country in the 1870s and 1880s as a popular spectator sport. Haitian-American Frank Hart (1858-1908), who worked at a Boston grocery store prior to his athletic career, became one of the sports’ biggest stars during a time of overt racism towards Black Americans. Join Assistant Curator Ginny Badgett as she shares research sparked by the Boston Athenæum’s recent acquisition of a rare cigarette card of pedestrian Frank Hart.
Virginia “Ginny” Reynolds Badgett joined the Boston Athenæum as Assistant Curator of Special Collections in January 2020. She is an interdisciplinary scholar of American art, history, and material culture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Badgett will receive her PhD in the History of Art and Architecture from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2021, where her research has been supported by the University of California’s Graduate Division. Prior to joining the BA, she was the Provenance Research Fellow at the Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama and previously held curatorial positions at Winterthur’s Boston Furniture Archive, the Detroit Institute of Arts, James Madison’s Montpelier, and the British Museum.
This event is part of ​our three-part series, "Curator's Choice." Join an Athenæum curator for a casual conversation about their current projects and the special collections items that inspire them, spark their curiosity, and generate discussion.
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Auto-generated captions are available for most virtual programs. To request live captioning or other accommodations, please contact Hannah Weisman at or 617-720-7617 at least four business days prior to the event.