It’s snowing today in New York City and crowds are lining up to skate at the legendary ice rink at Rockefeller Center, with its sparkling light displays and famous holiday tree. If I visit this year, it’ll be as a spectator only, since I’ve never ice skated in my life. Sad, I know, but I have a good excuse—I grew up in extremely warm areas of Mexico and Texas, so I didn’t have many opportunities to learn. But that doesn’t stop me from admiring skaters. I love their graceful gliding, and enjoy seeing the camaraderie that spontaneously develops when groups of people converge on the ice. Evidently I’m not alone, judging from the many depictions of skating groups in the Artstor Digital Library.
The images in this post are but a small sampling of the hundreds of images you can find in the Digital Library by searching for skat* (the asterisk can represent zero, one, or several characters, thus leading you to results for skate, skaters, skating, etc.); click on them to see the sources. We encourage you to explore the Rijksmuseum, George Eastman House, and the Museum of the City of New York collections in particular, as they each have loads of skating images—enough to tempt even me to give skating a try.