Exchange the wool bathing outfits for bikinis, and female beachgoers today aren’t much different from their 1908 counterparts, as depicted in John Sloan’s 1908 painting “South Beach Bathers.”
“Sloan first visited South Beach, an amusement park on Staten Island that attracted primarily working-class clientele, on June 23, 1907,” states the web site for the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
“Like many of his New York–themed works, his depiction of South Beach suggests a story that begins when one person looks at another. In South Beach Bathers a woman adjusting her hat is eyed appreciatively from the side and behind by men lounging on the sand.”
“Women play several roles at once in Sloan’s art: beyond being objects of desire, they record the new independence of modern New Yorkers, while also presenting a variation on old ideals of beauty in art.”
Tags: " John Sloan paintings, "South Beach Bathers, John Sloan's New York City, New York beach resorts, New York in 1908, New York summer paintings, South Beach Staten Island, Walker Art Center Minneapolis