Coed's DelightCoby Whitmore, 1950
Read more about the context of these illustrations, and how to see art from another era.
These images was first published in the 1950s, a period that evokes both nostalgia (Mad Men, mid-century modern furniture, “simpler times”) and horror (gender inequality, institutional racism, the Cold War). Without context, they may come off as cringeworthy, demeaning, and even upsetting—not to mention the titles of the works themselves, such as Coed’s Delight, Beauty Is the Prize, and Custom-Made Bride. But with context, this image can be an elucidating window into times past, giving us a more thorough understanding of life half a decade ago.