Summer is here, and people across the northern hemisphere are ready to hit the pool. For millennia, humans have been re-creating natural swimming holes in forms ranging from ancient baths to 20th-century British lidos to the kidney-shaped plastic-lined pools of contemporary suburban America. We’ve done so for different purposes, too, from leisure and play to holistic healing to fitness and sport. Then there’s the aesthetic draw – pools have long inspired artists, from the painters capturing images of bathers to filmmakers creating iconic scenes below the surface. A new book, The Swimming Pool in Photography, by Francis Hodgson ($55, Hatje Cantz), looks at the pool specifically through the lens of photographers, showcasing more than 200 works by such artists as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Emma Hartvig, and Larry Sultan. Here, we peek at a few images from the book’s pages, transporting ourselves to bygone eras or the dreamy vacation homes of today.
This photo, taken in 1961, wasn’t staged. A drunk driver mistakenly “parked” his car in his swimming pool.