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Image Publicity photograph for Jantzen swimwear c1920s

TLF ID R2836

This is a photograph of a young woman modelling a swimsuit. She wears a long one-piece swimsuit with a stripe around the leg, flat roman-strapped shoes and a wide hair band. A parasol nearby completes the scene. New Zealand photographer Gordon Burt (1893-1968) took this image, probably in the 1920s.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This asset depicts swimwear fashion of the time, a one-piece suit that would have stretched to mid-thigh - in the late 1930s and early 1940s the two-piece swimsuit was introduced, and swimsuits continued to reveal more and more bare skin as time went on.
  • It provides an example of a swimwear advertisement of the time - early advertising campaigns aimed simply to encourage swimming but by the beginning of the 20th century advertising favoured a more glamorous style of studio pose, typical of film stars of the period; this photo shows the smiling model posing as if she were at the beach, sitting with her legs out in front while her head is turned towards the photographer and her chin rests on her shoulder.
  • It depicts an item of clothing that was imported to New Zealand to supply fashion stores - this swimsuit was manufactured by the American swimwear company Jantzen - originally founded in 1910 as the Portland Knitting Company, one of their early swimsuit designs was called the 'Jantzen' model and the company first used the name as a trademark in advertising in 1916, and changed their name officially to the Jantzen Knitting Mills in 1918.
  • It is an example of the work of Gordon Burt, a Wellington photographer who began his career taking portraits in the 1920s but later shifted to commercial photography as the increase in the availability of consumer goods made advertising a lucrative industry.

Other details

  • Content provider
  • Copyright holder
  • Organisation: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Remarks: Reproduced courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Author
  • Name: Gordon Burt
  • Remarks: photographer
  • Publisher
  • Date of contribution: 30 Aug 2013
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia
  • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Colour independence
  • Device independence
  • Hearing independence
Learning resource type
  • Image
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer - minimum version: 8.0 (MS-Windows) - maximum version: 9.0 (MS-Windows)
  • Firefox - minimum version: (MS-Windows)
  • Safari - minimum version: 5.1 (MacOS)
Operating systems
  • MacOS - minimum version: 10.6
  • MS-Windows - minimum version: XP - maximum version: 7
  • © Education Services Australia Ltd and Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements