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Friday, January 30, 2009

Charles Dana Gibson - The Old Fashioned Girl

Hearst's International Cosmopolitan Magazine from August of 1927.
Color cover by Harrison Fisher depicting a girl wearing a bathing suit holding a Pekingese dog.

Inside spread features "The Old Fashioned Girl" by Charles Dana Gibson.

Charles Dana Gibson (1867-1944) was a pen and ink artist most well known for his illustrations of beautiful women from the first quarter of the 20th century. His portraits originally appeared in books and magazines.

From the start, Gibson’s interests were in portraying the social set rather than political figures, and his audience enjoyed the manner in which he poked fun at high society characters and their various idiosyncrasies.

Charles Dana Gibson’s period of greatest popularity was between 1900 and 1910, although he was productive well into the 1920’s. His best-known subject was the proverbial ‘Gibson Girl’. She became known as an ideal image of youthful American femininity, the modern woman, athletic, smart, stylish, and desirable and she sold magazines.

I just love these images of ladies in their swimsuits and the way in which the they seem to be sneering at the other. There is just such a nice tension between the old and the new, especially in the fashion of their bathing attire.

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