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Thursday, August 11, 2011

On the Beach

As summer ticks away and everyone comes back tanned from their weeks at the shore, I thought I'd share some great beach images from the Rosenbach collection.

George Cruikshank, AUGUST--Bathing at Brighton. For The Comic Almanack for 1836. London: Charles Tilt, 1835. 1954.1880.3252

As you can see in this almanac print by George Cruikshank, August was beach time, even 175 years ago. The house-like carts on wheels are bathing machines. Ladies who wished to swim would enter the bathing machine in their street clothes, change into their swimwear, and then the bathing machine would be rolled into the water, where the swimmer would step out as the bathing machine shielded her from being seen onshore. My favorite reference to bathing machines comes in Gilbert & Sullivan's "Nightmare Song " in which the singer recounts a dream involving a steamer "Which is something between a large bathing machine and a very small second-class carriage."

George Cruikshank. Detail of print from Scraps and Sketches. London, 1831. 1954.1880.2897

This fellow (also by Cruikshank) has found "Comfort in Warm weather" and he certainly looks happier than the ladies in the previous print. This is from a large composite print on the theme of comforts. (Notice the bathing machines in the background)


Possibly George Cruikshank, Shrimp catcher. From Billets in the Low Countries, 1814 to 1817. London: printed for J. J. Stockdale, 1818. 1954.1880.893

This shrimp catcher is headed to the beach to work, not relax, but I love his 1818 swimsuit. I should check our old cookbooks for some period shrimp recipes...

Unknown photographer, photograph of Marlene Dietrich. Cap d'Antibes, France. 1930s? Acosta:20:09

Fast-forwarding a hundred and some odd years, here is Marlene Dietrich relaxing on the beach in France. Maybe she'd like a shrimp cocktail?

Photograph of Moses and Eva Rosenbach and child. 2006.1516

And here are some Rosenbachs on the beach. The adults are Moses Polock Rosenbach (Philip and Abie's brother) and his wife Eva. The child is presumably one of their two daughters, which would place this scene in the late 1910s.


Unknown photographer. Tintype. ca. 1900? 2006.1808

The man in the center looks like a Rosenbach, but I'm not sure which one. This scene was obviously taken in a studio, but again I'm not sure what bound these five guys together, with three of them wearing matching spiffy suits. Anyone else have a guess?

1 comment:

Joseph said...

Thanks for sharing these photos! The Dietrich photo was likely taken during the summer of 1939, which I determined from the Steven Bach-penned biography, Marlene Dietrich: Life and Legend. The experts at Marlene Dietrich Collection Berlin (here) could give a definitive answer, though.