Real Life

Ronald Reagan as a lifeguard, 1920s

Ronald Reagan as a lifeguard, 1920s

I find this photo of Ronald Reagan bizarre in so many ways! As a child I always found it strange that he went from being a matinee idol to being President of the United States, and now I find a photo of him in a swimsuit as a lifeguard. Real life can truly be stranger(…)

A surprisingly modern swimsuit from 1912

A surprisingly modern swimsuit from 1912

Mina Wylie, a Dutch Olympic swimmer photographed in 1912 wearing her surprisingly modern-looking swimsuit. I thought swimwear was much more modest at this time, perhaps its because she’s an athlete…?

Mata Hari: from erotic dance to espionage

Mata Hari: from erotic dance to espionage

Paris, February 1917. Europe is at war, with England, France and Russia fighting against Germany, Austro-Hungary and Turkey. At the Hotel Elysee Palace on the Champs Elysee, authorities have arrested a 40-year-old woman and charged her with espionage. This woman is famous, a celebrity, known across the continent for her exotic burlesque performances, and her(…)

Young women of Naples in their swimsuits, Italy 1948

Young women of Naples in their swimsuits, Italy 1948

Young girls in bikinis posing for a photo in Naples, 1948. Which is your favourite swimsuit? I think mine is the striped bikini. Source and copyright: his photograph is in the public domain in Italy because it was first published in Italy and its term of copyright has expired. Edited with BlogPad Pro

Atomic dancer

Atomic dancer

An “atomic pin-up girl” dancing in front of a (stemless) mushroom cloud. This photo was taken at Upshot-Knothole Dixie on 6th April 1953. I’m assuming somebody thought it was a good idea to photograph a pin-up shoot in from of an Nuclear test, but it all seems very strange now. I guess attitudes were very different in(…)

Official 60s White House portrait of Jackie Kennedy

Official 60s White House portrait of Jackie Kennedy

Official White House portrait U.S. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in 1961. Doesn’t she look young and serene in this photograph?  Photographer: Mark Shaw. Source and copyright: This image is a work of an employee of the Executive Office of the President of the United States, taken or made as part of that person’s official duties.(…)

1930s little girl with her pet tiger cub

1930s little girl with her pet tiger cub

Isn’t this a delightful photo? I know that opinions have changed enormously about having exotic animals as pets and you just wouldn’t see this anymore, but my 6 year old is obsessed with bit cats and would like a pet tiger more than anything else so I can only imagine how delighted this little girl(…)

1960s schoolgirls in Barbados

1960s schoolgirls in Barbados

Girls conducting an experiment in a chemistry lesson at Queen’s College, Barbados in June 1964. School uniforms just don’t look this stylish now… Source and copyright: The National Archives UK: No known copyright restrictions Edited with BlogPad Pro

1940 US sailors and their tattoos

American sailors photographed with their tattoos in 1944 Source and copyright:  This file is a work of a sailor or employee of the U.S. Navy, taken or made as part of that person’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.

Princess Margaret In Nassau, 1950s

Princess Margaret In Nassau, 1950s

Princess Margaret with Sir Raynor Arthur during a brief visit to Nassau in May 1958 Source and copyright: No known copyright restrictions

1970s street fashions inspired by the Bay City Rollers?

1970s photo of two people in flared trousers and platform shoes walking through Grainger Market. This photograph was taken by Robert Hope, who lived in Newcastle upon Tyne. In the early 1970s he took out a bank loan to buy a Rolleiflex camera. Over the next few years he photographed various Newcastle scenes, including the Grainger(…)

1950s swimwear

Two couples running along the beach, 1950s Source: No known copyright restrictions

Vintage ballet costume

Vintage ballet costume

Legendary ballet dancer Anna Pavlova in costume as a bacchante in The Seasons. C. 1900 Source and copyright: This work is in the public domain in Russia according to article 1256 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation.

Girl in front of a 1960s window display

Woman with window display photographed by American photographer James Jowers in 1968. How fed up does she look? It looks like she’s been waiting for someone for some time… Source and copyright: George Eastman House Collection: No known copyright restrictions  

1960s eye makeup and geometric prints

1960s eye makeup and geometric prints

Fabulously styled mod girl in New York 1968. Photograph by Jame Jowers. Source and copyright: George Eastman House Collection: No known copyright restrictions  

Everything Was Moving: Photography from the 60s and 70s

A new photography exhibition opens tomorrow at the Barbican Art Gallery in London: Everything Was Moving: Photography from the 60s and 70s. It features international photography from renowned photographers throughout these two decades. It includes work from photographers including Bruce Davidson, William Eggleston, David Goldblatt, Graciela Iturbide, Boris Mikhailov and Shomei Tomatsu, as well as(…)

1960s mod girl on a scooter

1960s mod girl on a scooter

Photo by American photographer James Jowers of a 1960s mod girl in New York riding a scooter. Photo title: W. 3 st. Source and copyright: George Eastman House Collection: No known copyright restrictions