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National Museum of Australia

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Collection Explorer


Surfing Australia

Object information

Physical description

Rectangular, orange, white and black lithographic poster, titled "SURFING / AUSTRALIA". It features a black and white photographic image of a woman surfer riding a long board. She is wearing a knitted one-piece bathing suit and cap. Another woman and a man are riding waves in the background. The image is within an orange border and it has a wider panel across the bottom that contains the text, which is in black or white. Below the title is "PARTICULARS AT SHIPPING OFFICES / AND TRAVEL AGENCIES" and "AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL TRAVEL ASSOCIATION [ANTA] / LONDON, LOS ANGELES, TORONTO, BATAVIA, SHANGHAI, TOKYO, WELLINGTON, MELBOURNE (Head Office)". The ANTA kangaroo emblem is at the bottom of the proper left side. The poster has fabric backing and it is mounted on cardboard within an off-white mat.

Statement of significance

This collection consists of one half size tourism poster from the 1930s depicting a female surfer. It has been repaired and is linen backed.

This poster reveals that by the 1930s the beach was already an integral and easily recognisable part of Australian culture. Sea bathing had grown in popularity from the 1880s and by the 1930s surfing was enjoyed by many. Despite the reality of beach fashion restrictions and women's minimal participation in surfing this poster is an early example of the tourist's desire to seek 'sea, sun, sand and sex'.

Object information

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