Caught Our Eyes: Swan Dive

As I swelter through the dog days of summer along with my fellow Washingtonians, my overheated mind called forth a favorite print from our Fine Prints collection. The grace and simplicity of this lithograph are compelling enough, but the promise of a refreshing splashdown and a cool breeze on the way down is what caught my eye and imagination:

Swan Dive. Lithograph by Mabel W. Jack, 1939. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3g10214

Swan Dive. Lithograph by Mabel W. Jack, 1939. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3g10214

Woman diver. Woman diving, in mid-air. Photo by Theodor Horydczak, between 1920 and 1950. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/thc.5a48300

Woman diver. Woman diving, in mid-air. Photo by Theodor Horydczak, between 1920 and 1950. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/thc.5a48300

Swan Dive was created by artist Mabel W. Jack in 1939 as part of her work with the Federal Art Project in New York. Searching through the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog for more divers, I found the unrelated photograph (right) by Theodor Horydczak. The unnamed subjects in both images wear a common bathing suit style and cap of the time, and are captured at nearly the same moment in a swan dive. Both make me crave a refreshing dip in the pool!

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