This amusing and provocative collection of early hand-tinted postcards and black-and-white photographs presents the American female bather in her colorful seaside costumes. Posed and spontaneous, sober and giddy, these early images offer a delightful ode to women at the beach. They also serve as an evocative social document of the newly liberated woman.
Victorian women in their last age of innocence went to the beach heavily clad and were bystanders as men frolicked in the surf. But social mores and fashions began to change at the turn of the century. Women cast aside their cumbersome garments for scantier and sometimes risque bathing frocks, which in turn gave way to the daring swimsuit. A camera-happy nation documented these carefree women at the beach. Beach Beauties captures the best of these delightful seaside scenes.