Bare Beach Babies Pt. 2: Early to Mid-20th Century

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José Júlio de Souza-Pinto – La Baignade

Charles Lhermitte’s series carries on the Neoclassical tradition in photography:

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Charles Augustin Lhermitte – Fillette nue et couronnée de fleurs debout en extension sur la rive d’un fleuve (1912)

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Charles Augustin Lhermitte – Fillette nue et couronnée de fleurs jouant sur la rive d’un fleuve (1912)

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Charles Augustin Lhermitte – Fillette nue et couronnée de fleurs marchant au bord d’un fleuve parmi les saules (1912)

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Charles Augustin Lhermitte – Fillette nue et couronnée de fleurs marchant au bord d’un fleuve parmi les saules (1912)

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Charles Augustin Lhermitte – Fillette nue et couronnée de fleurs jouant sur la rive d’un fleuve (1912)

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Charles Augustin Lhermitte – Fillette nue et couronnée de fleurs sur la berge d’un fleuve (1912)

Frans Smeers’ little boat enthusiast isn’t quite fully nude, but . . .

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Frans Smeers – Fillette au bateau (1906)

Imogen Cunningham, as a precursor to Jock Sturges, captures some of the earliest photographic images of nudist culture, notably this family with a young daughter:

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Imogen Cunningham – Family on the Beach (1910) (1)

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Imogen Cunningham – Family on the Beach (1910) (2)

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Emil Kelemen – Bathing Children

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Georges Sauveur Maury – Three Girls by the Sea

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Annelise Kretschmer – Untitled (Spiekeroog Island) (1932)

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Henri Mella – Petite Baigneuse

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Virginie Demont-Breton – Dans l’eau pure (1920s postcard)

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Eliot Elisofon – Children Bathing at Fogoloa Beach (1949, Life Magazine)

By mid-century in Europe prepubescent girls at public beaches usually donned bottoms but were not required to cover up their chest. Even today young girls covering their nipples in public remains primarily an American and British convention:
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Marcel Marlier – Martine a la mer (cover)

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Marcel Marlier (1)

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Marc Riboud – Two Girls After a Swim, France (1953)

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Anton Filkuka – Eva, the Artist’s Daughter, Bathing

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Dmytry Dmytrievich Zhilinsky – At the Sea, Family (1964)

Imogen Cunningham Trust

Wikipedia: Imogen Cunningham

Art Renewal Center: Virginie Demont-Breton

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives

Wikipedia: Marcel Marlier

Marc Riboud: Cinquante ans de photographie

Wikipedia: Marc Riboud

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