Tyler Green
Art-focused Journalism by Tyler Green

Tyler Green Modern Art Notes

MAN’s swimsuit issue: We have bikinis too!

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So over the last few days MAN’s swimsuit issue has featured bathing belles, more bathing belles, and contributions from MAN readers and art museums. What we haven’t featured — until now — is actual swimsuits. As savvy MAN readers may know, no one this side of Hawaiian Tropic has more bikinis than… America’s art museums?

Yup. Behold! At right, a bikini from around 1940 from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It turns out the Met doesn’t just have a lot of bikinis, it even has a page about them on its erudite, distinguished Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History website.

It’s not just the Met. The brahmins-soaked Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has a swimsuit titled “Scandal”, designed by Cole of California around 1964. The MFA even put together a handy webpage, the MFA Boston’s very own swimsuit issue.

Count on a California museum to jump right in too: LACMA offers up this smashing 1936 suit, as well as this stunning 1963 design by Rose Marie Reid.

If you enjoyed yesterday’s Eugene Boudin, you might get a kick out of this, a bathing costume from around 1888 that’s in the collection of the Missouri History Museum.

What else ya got, readers?

Related: MAN’s Swimsuit Issue part one, two. Plus: Behind the scenes! Art museums make their own contributions, complete with some racy beach talk!

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  1. Jodie Ahern says:

    Love the Japanese print from MFA!

  2. francine says:

    It’s nice that the beautiful fish swimsuit is made out of wool.

  3. Ang says:

    Love this!!! Vintage swimwear is fantastic. My holy grail is the Schiaparelli swim jacket (featured in the fashion show segment in the film “the Women” with the life-like hand holding a rose as the jacket’s closure, no doubt a collaboration with Dali. I just blogged about your post here, so much to see! http://dorotheascloset.blogspot.com/2011/02/in-swim.html (ps, you have to see the swimsuit I posted on my blog that I sold years ago, 1950s yellow Catalina swimsuit with sketchwork birds having *very* romantic moments, if you know what I mean. I couldn’t believe that print came from Catalina, in the 1950s no less!).


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