United Kingdom (£)

1904: Jen Leem-Bruggen illustrates a scandalous Olympic marathon

Illustrated newspaper about the 1904 Olympic marathon by Jen Lee-Bruggen

1904 St. Louis Olympics newspaper by Jen Leem-Bruggen

In August 1904, the first Olympic Games outside of Europe took place in St. Louis, Missouri. This historic Games is perhaps best remembered for its scandalous marathon, which was marked by a series of bizarre events.

For example, a former mailman from Cuba who, the Smithsonian writes, arrived at the starting line "in a white, long-sleeved shirt, long, dark pants, a beret and a pair of street shoes. One fellow Olympian took pity, found a pair of scissors and cut [his] trousers at the knee." And it only got stranger from there.

Cuban marathoner Félix Carbajal

Cuban marathoner Félix Carbajal at the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis (Photo: Brittanica.com)

Illustrator Jen Leem-Bruggen presents surreal scenes from the marathon in a digital tabloid she printed last year. With a lighthearted touch she depicts runners chased off course by wild dogs, poisoned by rotten apples and, finally, carried over the finish line (following a disabling dose of rat poison and egg whites). What a race!

Illustrated newspaper about the 1904 Olympic marathon by Jen Lee-Bruggen

1904 St. Louis Olympics newspaper by Jen Leem-Bruggen

Illustrated newspaper about the 1904 Olympic marathon by Jen Lee-Bruggen

1904 St. Louis Olympics newspaper by Jen Leem-Bruggen

Leem-Bruggen included the newspaper in her graduate show at the University of Hertfordshire in 2015. It looked great spread out alongside the rest of her degree work, including charming studies of temptation.
Illustrated newspaper about the 1904 Olympic marathon by Jen Lee-Bruggen

Illustrator Jen Leem-Bruggen's graduate show at the University of Hertfordshire in 2015

You'd be remiss not to be keeping up with this excellent illustrator on Instagram. Thanks for printing with us!

Learn more about our digital tabloid newspapers. Our most popular product, great for everything from weddings to portfolios to posters. They're easy to try out, with print runs starting at just one copy.

Related posts

See all posts