Summer Vibes

Dee Bowers

Black and white photo of several young women in swimsuits splashing in the ocean
HERZ_0080, Bathing beauties, 1959, black and white silver gelatin print. Irving I. Herzberg photograph collection, BCMS.0056. Brooklyn Public Library, Center for Brooklyn History.

Welcome to August! To bring us into the final weeks of summer vacation, this Photo of the Week is all about those summer vibes. A bevy of the titular "bathing beauties" is seen frolicking in the surf at Coney Island, each with a different stylish swimsuit and creative coif. The palpable joy on their faces is what drew me to this image. Of course during these hot and sweaty days, what could be more joyous then splashing in the cool ocean? Each of these beauties expresses their glee in their own way, with the result being a lineup of charming smiles and hair tosses. Their flung arms and kicked legs are caught in mid-motion, as is the salt water bursting exuberantly around them. Hopefully just looking at this beachy image sends some coolness your way.

Irving I. Herzberg (1915-1992) was an amateur photographer who documented the neighborhoods and people of Brooklyn, beginning in the early 1950s until his death at the age of 77. His life's work—about 2,300 photographs, negatives and slides—now belongs to the Center for Brooklyn History, and was recently completely digitized as part of our Brooklyn Jewish History Project. Herzberg lived in Brighton Beach for thirty years. His subjects include the subway, Coney Island, and images of Jewish life on Ocean Parkway and in Williamsburg.

Interested in seeing more photos from CBH’s collections? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images, or the digital collections portal at Brooklyn Public Library. We look forward to inviting you to CBH in the future to research in our entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections. In the meantime, please visit our resources page to search our collections. Questions? Our reference staff is available to help with your research! You can reach us at


This blog post reflects the opinions of the author and does not necessarily represent the views of Brooklyn Public Library.


Michael Gnat

One thing I love about the "bathing beauties" photo is that, if you follow the queue from lower left to upper right, the last one in the line is a balding, pot-bellied guy. :-)
Wed, Aug 3 2022 1:54 am Permalink

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