i haven’t delved into the vast LIFE magazine archives in a while, so it was a pleasure to discover this amusing article showing “six healthy girls” from a Hollywood modeling agency visiting Arrowhead Springs in California in 1948.
Although they are naturally blessed with plenty of sunshine and cheap orange juice, Californians are notorious for their eagerness to find new ways of keeping healthy. Dotting the state are dozens of spas and resorts which advertise salutary baths, colonic treatments and curative waters. One of the flossiest of these is the Arrowhead Hot Springs Hotel, perched in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, 65 miles east of Los Angeles. Recently six healthy girls from the Dorothy Preble model agency in Hollywood visited Arrowhead for a healthy holiday weekend. During their stay they boiled eggs in the hot springs, were daubed with Arrowhead mud, basked in underground steam caves and lolled in warm mineral baths containing traces of rare salts.
Models kid themselves and the stiffly affected postures of their trade beside the scalloped, palm-bordered pool near the hotel. Their boss, Mrs Preble, remains unimpressed.
Elisabeth Kellogg displays a terry-cloth bathing suit. Called a “stunner”, it is more practical for sunning than for swimming.
The girls boil their eggs in the “world’s hottest spring”.
Frolicking in the salutary waters of hot mineral baths at Arrowhead Hot Springs Hotel.
A mock fashion show is put on by Elisabeth Kellogg. Holding a flower for a prop, she parodies one of the stilted stances she is paid to use on work days.
A pillow fight breaks out after breakfast, which the models had served in bed.
Nichelle Gainour, a journalist who blogs and writes for various online and offline publications, owns a tumblr called Vintage Black Glamour that has progressed into a book, launching in June. the tumblr is unique in that it’s not just pictures pictures pictures, something i find quite frustrating about themed tumblrs in general. she talks about the subjects in the photographs at length, something that i really appreciate in the land of the never ending out-of-context image (aka the internet).
i love this image of Loïs Mailou Jones, an artist who studied at Harvard and Columbia, pictured in her Parisian studio. there are many more where that came from – i suggest you delve into the archives.
Using rarely accessed photographic archives and private collections, Nichelle has unearthed a revealing treasure trove of memorable and iconic images. The book presents historic photographs of famous actors, dancers, writers and entertainers who worked in the 20th-century entertainment business, but who rarely appeared in the same publications as their white counterparts. With its stunning photographs and insightful biographies, this book is a hugely important addition to Black history archives.
poking around the life archives i discovered this marvelous photoset of young women working on ski resorts in Aspen in the 70s, photographed by John Dominis. after some more digging i managed to find the original article in the March 1971 edition of Life, which is called, wait for it, “A Very Nice Kind of Ski Bum“.
Most people’s notion of ski bum is a shiftless young male who spends most of his time searching for good powder, but the ski bums of Aspen, Colo. aren’t like that at all. They are prettier, for one thing, and many of them have lived in the resort town for more than two years. They consider the skier’s life not a parenthetical experience but a real alternative to urban existence, one free from pollution, noise and the frustration of having to choose between marriage a a less than satisfying job. The only problem they have in Aspen is finding a way to survive. With 900 newcomers arriving every year, there is a sharp shortage of both jobs and housing. But the air is fresh and clean and the longer the women stay, the prettier they seem to look.
Blackie was the cat of photographer Gjon Mili, who was best known for his work for Life magazine. you can see a beautiful series he did with Picasso that i previously blogged about here. i was digging more into his work when i noticed that Blackie appears in a lot of his shoots – it seems that his feline friend accompanied him to the studio (and really enjoyed it).
all photos by Gjon Mili
the Forest History Society is probably exactly what you think it is – an archive dedicated to collecting, preserving, and disseminating forest and conservation history. they have an extensive collection of photographs that have been digitised, that you can search through here, as well as an online gallery sorted by subject. i found some of their best photographs over at their flickr page. makes you want to go camping, doesn’t it?