Sun lotion and posters

Ambra solare, Hervé Baille, 1938

Ambra solare, Hervé Baille, 1938

Summer: time for tans and sun lotion. To introduce this gallery of posters and postcards from the first half of the 1900s, we’ll quote the great Chilean novelist and poet, Roberto Bolaño (1953-2003):

I like to contemplate the beach. There in that triumphant amalgamation of semi-nude bodies, lovely and ugly, fat and thin, perfect and imperfect, the air brings us a magnificent smell, the smell of suntan lotion. I like the smell that rises from that mass of bodies in all shapes and sizes. It isn’t strong, but it’s bracing. Though it isn’t perfect. Sometimes it’s even a sad smell. And possibly metaphysical. The thousand lotions, the sunscreens. They smell of democracy, of civilization. (R. Bolaño, “Civilization”, in “Between Parentheses: Essays, Articles and Speeches, 1998-2003”, New Directions Publishing Corporation, New York 2014).

July 19, 2017