The 1948 Olympiad was held in London, the first (after a 12-year hiatus because of World War II) Summer Olympics since the 1936 Games in Berlin. This was the second time London hosted the Games, the first being in 1908. The event became known as the Austerity Games, because of the economic climate and rationing in the aftermath of World War II. Events were held in existing venues (Wembley Stadium and the Empire Pool at Wembley Park), and athletes were housed in existing accommodation in the Wembley area instead of an Olympic Village. A record 59 nations were represented by 4,104 athletes, 3,714 men and 390 women, in 19 sport disciplines. Germany and Japan were not invited to the games; the Soviet Union was invited but chose not to send any athletes. The United States team won the most total medals, 84, and the most gold medals, 38. The host nation won 23 medals, three of them gold.
The Victoria and Albert Museum set up this exhibition under the auspices of the IOC, stating "it is the duty of each participating nation to set up a national committee ... empowered to select three works in each group of arts to compete with those of other nations for medals and diplomas in International Competition". This booklet contains the selected works, reproduced in black-and-white, and a fascinating collection they are.
Our copy is in excellent condition, its green card covers unworn and with only the faintest hint of browning at the edges. The staples holding it together are somewhat rusted, but there are no loose pages, and all pages are clean and bright. A very nice item of sporting memorabilia for the collector.