The International Olympic Committee was formed in 1894. Its founder was French Baron Pierre de Coubertin who desired to have men compete in sport instead of war and to combine sports and the arts. It wasn’t until 1906 that the Baron called the IOC into a meeting and they constructed the framework for artistic competitions with 5 areas to be added into the Olympics.
The five areas of art were architecture, literature, music, painting, and sculpture and the works of art had to be inspired by sports. There wasn’t enough time or resources to have the artistic competitions ready for the 1908 Olympics that were set to happen in Rome and switched at the last minute to London. The Baron had patience and began the preparations for the 1912 Summer Olympics held in Stockholm, Sweden.
At first, the art wasn’t taken seriously and it took a few Olympics before numerous artists submitted their work. By the 1920s, it became a more important part of the Olympics. The artistic part of the Olympics continued until 1952 and was then cancelled.