Despite the recent damp spring weather, we are looking forward to sunnier days ahead. Summer is fast approaching and with that barbeques, beach balls, and swimming. Browsing through the SMU digital collections of the Archives of Women of the Southwest, Kenda North’s photographs of sun bathers stood out. Some of the 1970s summer fashion featured in these photographs would not be out of place today.

Harlequin, 1977

Harlequin, 1977; Photograph of the midsection of a sunbathing woman wearing a blue polka-dot bikini.

Mich in Pool, 1978, Photograph of the midsection of a sunbathing woman wearing a green swimsuit.

Mich in Pool, 1978, Photograph of the midsection of a sunbathing woman wearing a green swimsuit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kenda North has been specifically working in color in photography her entire career with innovative work with dye transfer materials in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Her career has been marked by consistent experimentation and techniques of available color processes. North has had over 50 one person exhibitions and participated in over 100 group exhibitions, both nationally and internationally. Her photographs are in over 50 public collections throughout the U.S. and Europe. From 1989 to 2020, North was on the faculty at the University of Texas, Arlington. She was Chair of the Art and Art History Department from 1991 to 1999 and was awarded Professor Emerita in summer 2020.

 

 

Striped suit, 1977, Photograph of the torso of a sunbathing woman wearing a striped bikini.

Striped suit, 1977, Photograph of the torso of a sunbathing woman wearing a striped bikini.

Visor, 1977, Photograph of the upper body of a sunbathing woman with her head covered by a visor.

Visor, 1977, Photograph of the upper body of a sunbathing woman with her head covered by a visor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Kenda North photographs and papers, 1972-2017, at the DeGolyer Library consists of 1,059 photographic prints and large framed pieces. The majority are in various color processes. There are hand colored dye transfer prints, Polaroids, and Cibachrome prints. Also included are notebooks, her exhibition invitations and announcements. These images come from the sunbather series. “The “Sunbather Series” was photographed and printed from 1976 to 1982 and consist of 20 Hand colored dye transfer prints with titles and number identifications. They started with photographs made on public beaches from Chicago to Los Angeles with focus on sections of the body in the landscape.”

 

Self Portrait, 1976, Photograph of the upper body and head of a sunbathing woman wearing a black and white bikini top.

Self Portrait, 1976, Photograph of the upper body and head of a sunbathing woman wearing a black and white bikini top.

Green suit, 1976, Photograph of the torso of a sunbathing woman wearing a green bikini.

Green suit, 1976, Photograph of the torso of a sunbathing woman wearing a green bikini.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Samantha Dodd, curator of the Archives of Women of the Southwest for additional information or assistance with accessing these materials. For more information and access to photograph collections, contact our Curator of Photographs Anne E. Peterson. The DeGolyer continues to expand our digitization efforts, adding new content weekly. We have thousands of items digitized and searchable in our digital collections with many thousands more to come!