The Deep End

‘Backyard Oasis: The Swimming Pool in California Photography’

Californians can do without their swimming pools. The best photos from ‘Backyard Oasis.’ By Andrew Carter.

© Herb Ritts Foundation

Just in time for a heat wave, a book of photographs dedicated to the invention that helped millions cool off: the swimming pool. Backyard Oasis: The Swimming Pool in Southern California Photography, 1945-1982 is dedicated to decades of Californians and their pools. The book includes more than 200 photos of celebrities and regular Joes enjoying a dip in their natatoriums, and includes works by famed photographers like Bill Anderson, Herb Ritts, David Hockney, and Larry Sultan. The Daily Beast rounds up some of the book’s best photos.

© Palm Springs Art Museum

Bill Anderson

Rock Hudson, 1954

© Palm Springs Art Museum

Bill Anderson

El Mirador, early 1950s

© Bob Mizer Foundation

Bob Mizer

Richard Dubois, 1953

© Herb Ritts Foundation

Herb Ritts

Richard Gere, 1982

© Michael H. Epstein & Scott E. Schwimer

Mel Roberts

Robert and Cliff, Sherman Oaks, 1980

© Bill Owens

Bill Owens

“He’s a typical Californian who doesn’t know how to relax,” 1971, photograph by Bill Owens.

© Bill Owens

Bill Owens

Hockney Painted This Pool, 1980

© Michael Childers

Michael Childers

The Hockney Swimmer, 1978

David Hockney; Photo: Richard Schmidt

David Hockney

Nathan Swimming, Los Angeles, March 11, 1982

© 1974 Loretta Ayeroff

Loretta Ayeroff

Abandoned Pool, California Ruins, Perris Valley, 1974

© C.R. Stecyk

Craig Stecyk

Jay Adams, Northridge, California, circa 1973