Summer at Martha’s Vineyard, 1950s

It is the wrong season for this picture, but I couldn’t resist since it contains some of my favorite elements—the many kinds of pants and shorts worn in the 1950s and a stark generational contrast between the old and young.

This photo comes from a collection of snapshots by Oiuda Taylor, now kept at the Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC.  They document summer vacations at the Oaks Bluff community on Martha’s Vineyard.  There isn’t much about Taylor online, but the Smithsonian does have a brochure from the vacation home she ran, Taylor’s Playfair.  Perhaps the photos were not only of her own family but also of the other guests who visited.  There is a lot of interesting information on Oak Bluffs, an African American enclave on the toney vacation spot, Martha’s Vineyard.

The photo is a fifties treasure.  The younger women sport all kinds of short and pants, from Bermuda shorts to clam diggers.  The old woman shuns bifurcation altogether, showing up in her fifties style shirtwaist dress.  And while the younger folks have on sandals, she appears to wear a summer version of the sensible shoe.  Take a look through the whole collection for wonderful views of summertime fashion from beachwear, to sundresses.

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