"On Friday night, fifty times a year, more than 6500 hundred fans stream into the Coliseum in downtown Houston for promoter Paul Boesch’s weekly offering of Crushers, Killers, Bruisers and Butchers, Commies, Nazis, Japs, and A-rabs, Dukes, Lords, and Byrons, Professors and Doctors, Cowboys and Indians, Spoilers and Sissies, Farmers and Lumberjacks, Bulls and Mad Dogs, Masked Men and Midgets, Nice Girls and Bitches, and at least one Clean-cut, Finely Muscled Young Man who never fights dirty until provoked beyond reason and who represents the Last, Best, Black, Brown, Red, or White hope for Truth, Justice, and the American Way."

William C. Martin

Friday Night in the Coliseum

Dancer Press announces a new edition of Friday Night in the Coliseum, Geoff Winningham’s classic photo-documentary study of professional wrestling. The new edition, expanded from 144 to 180 pages, was released in February of 2020. 500 copies were printed by Everbest Printing from tritone separations by Thomas Palmer. 400 of the 500 copies were sewn and bound with a flexcover; the remaining 100 copies were sewn, casebound, and slipcased.

 

Of the 100 casebound and slipcased copies, 50 copies were signed by the photographer, numbered 1-50, and include an original gelatin silver print,
made and signed by the photographer. The first edition of Friday Night in the Coliseum was published in 1971 by Allison Press. Wetmore & Company of Houston printed 1500 copies. 1400 were sewn and bound with a soft cover; 100 copies were sewn and bound with a hardcover. Light Impressions Company of Rochester, NY handled distribution of the book, the first published monograph by Geoff Winningham.


National attention and critical acclaim came almost immediately upon publication. The April 7, 1972 issue of Life magazine carried three full pages
of photographs from the book and announced “The Rousin’ Rebirth of ‘Rasslin’”. The New York Times, the Village Voice, the Boston Globe, and
Newsweek all followed with glowing reviews of the book. By the end of 1972, the book had sold out, and in 1973 the American Federation of Arts published Masters of the Camera, a collection of the most important American photographs of the 20th century, concluding with six of Winningham’s photographs from Friday Night in the Coliseum.

Dancer Press offers three versions of the new edition of Friday Night in the Coliseum:

  • Flexcover edition: $75.00

  • Casebound edition in slipcase: $120.00 - SOLD OUT

  • Casebound edition in slipcase, signed and numbered by Geoff Winningham, including an original silver gelatin print (size 10”x8”) made, signed and numbered by Geoff Winningham: $600.00
     

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