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Sports, Tennis Our Way, Arthur Ashe, Stan Smith, Illustration Art (Sold)


Rick Johnson
Tennis Our Way
American: c. 1998
Watercolor and gouache on illustration board
Signed lower right
16 x 14.25 inches, overall

An illustration painting with portraits of the tennis champions Arthur Ashe (1943-1993) and Stan Smith (b. 1946) and the renowned tennis instructor Vic Braden (b. 1929). These are layered with smaller action illustrations of Ashe and Smith playing. This original work, by illustrator Rick Johnson, probably was proposed or used to promote Tennis Our Way, an instructional video for beginning tennis players produced by Braden in 1998 and featuring Ashe and Smith. Indeed, Braden’s portrait and Ashe’s pose in the smaller illustration are based on photographic images that appeared on the cover of the video when it was originally released on VHS (see product images).


Stan Smith won two Grand Slam singles championships and partnered with Bob Lutz in one of the most successful doubles teams of all time. Ashe won five Grand Slam singles titles between 1968 and 1975, in each of the four major opens, and was the first man of African ancestry to win these titles (and as of July 2012, the only one, except in the case of the French Open). Braden played professionally on the pro tour in the early 1950s, but his greatest achievements are as a coach and tennis educator. He was admitted to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1974.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall toning and light wear. Some glue residue in outer margins from former matting, can be rematted out. On illustration board, though board appears to have been reduced in thickness by a layer — not affecting the illustration or the integrity of the board.


“Arthur Ashe.” Wikipedia. 15 July 2012. (16 July 2012).

“Stan Smith.” Wikipedia. 14 June 2012. (16 July 2012).

“Vic Braden.” Wikipedia. 20 May 2012. (16 July 2012).

Additional information


20th Century