Vintage Swimming Costumes at the Morris Museum

Low Tide, Winslow Homer, Wood engraving on paper, Every Saturday magazine, August 6, 1870. Private Collection

The Morris Museum is featuring an exhibit on vintage bathing suits that were worn on carefree summer days of yesteryear at the Jersey Shore.

This exhibit features bathing suits worn by men and women from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, much like the ones depicted in this Winslow Homer engraving. It includes wool bathing dresses as well as other bathing accessories from the collections of the Morris Museum and the Morris County Historical Society at Acorn Hall.

Twenty-eight of Homer’s wood engravings are also on exhibit at the Morris Museum. They feature some of his favorite timeless themes: childhood innocence, games, picnics, holidays, clambakes, etc… In this selection, children and adults are engaged in a variety of vacation activities at the beach.

It makes us wonder what idyllic sights at Seaside would inspire the American master today. Perhaps an engraving of Snooki stumbling giddily out of Club Karma at 2:30 a.m. into the arms of a sauced yet studly Pauly D?

But back to wool bathing dresses… ever smell wet wool? Let us be grateful for the invention of polyester and spandex that make up our breathable, if positively scandalous, beach attire.

Through mid-October. For more information, check out the museum’s website.

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