With temperatures rising this week, we dipped into the Los Angeles Public Library’s Photo Collection to bask in some historic photographs of swimming scenes across L.A. Here’s a sampling of some incredible Angelenos over the last century—from an Olympic hopeful to a cryptic artist—modeling the timeless cure for beating the heat.
“Duet” Wins Gold Medal by Anne Knudsen
The Olympic Swim Stadium, later McDonald’s Swim Stadium at USC was built for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games, where synchronized swimming first became an official Olympic sport. Here the United States’ Candy Costie and Tracie Ruiz won the gold.
David Hockney Poolside by Mike Sergieff, 1979
The artist noted for painting California pool scenes lounges beside one himself (a red film covers a portion of the photo.)
Louganis Practices His Skills, 1976
Greg Louganis, 16-year-old Olympic diving hopeful, is the picture of aerobatic grace as he practices his skills at Los Coyotes Country Club, site of Los Angeles International Invitational High Platform & Springboard Diving Championships in Buena Park.
First Sun-Heated Pool in the Valley, 1959
Municipal Plunge at Griffith Park, 1939
Venice Beach Swimmers by Cheryl Himmelstein, 2002
Swimmers at Venice Beach, 1920
Browse over 80,000 great archival photos from the LAPL’s Photo Collection here.