My grandmother and her sister Kate (she can’t even tell who is who!), volunteering for the Newport Hospital at age 17. This picture still astounds me every time I look at it. So much poise and togetherness. Mumma told me once that the two of them used to switch places on their “beaux” and if the boys didn’t figure it out, “well, that was the end of them.”
A collection of family and friends having tea at their home on Paradise Avenue in 1939. It’s interesting to see the differences in generational dressing. The older woman in the hat seems to be clinging to habits of victorian grandeur that she probably grew up with: embellishment (floral accents, elegant fabric, and puffy sleeves), decorum (dress length) and an overall look of wealth and status (large earrings). Meanwhile, my two great aunts (on the grass and seated second from right) are comfortable, hat-free and simple, which would have been in keeping with an upbringing during the Great Depression, where practicality, versatility and a sense of humility were major influencing forces on fashion. I am obsessed with the dress, shoes and bag of the woman on the grass, one of my grandmother’s three sisters. (and that hair!) Amazing that, by today’s standards, she is conservatively and fancily dressed, yet she looks so comfy, laid back and, well, GOOD. (Seemingly) effortless style at its best.
This image is the intellectual property of the Goddard family and may not be used or reproduced without permission. Please contact CGoddard24@gmail.com if you are interested in using it.
If you are confused by the name of my blog because you thought that Rhode Island was the Ocean State, not the Hope State, you are not alone. Hope is the Rhode Island state ‘mantra,’ if you will, and is written around the anchor on our state flag. Hope is also the name of both my grandmothers (and more aunts and cousins than you can imagine). I forget the full thought process but it seemed like a fitting name at the time.
Here are two shots of my paternal grandmother, Mumma, taken in 1928 (she was only 13! do you know what I looked like when I was 13??) on a family vacation to St. Croix. I love how her style exudes personality and elegance despite being reduced to the most basic elements: a knit bathing dress, sneakers with no laces and a gold bangle (kind of a thing among women in my family. The kitchen is always full of jingle noises at the holidays because of it, but I have yet to partake in the tradition. I think technically you are supposed to sail to the West Indies to get one).
Her outfit in the second photo is almost too cute to describe, and knowing my grandmother, it is SO much like her: an appreciation for nautical style, walking shoes, an artsy french beret (her parents went to France on their honeymoon and bought a river boat with the wedding money that they were supposed to spend on china and other boring things. They lived on the Seine, painting their way around Paris until WWI broke out, at which point my great grandmother was pregnant with my grandmother and her identical twin, Kate. They bought tickets to get back to the US on the Lusitania, but the ship sank before their trip!), and of course, her watercolor set!
I’ve been working with family photographs (archiving, digitizing, restoring) for the better part of 3 years as my dad and I work towards the publication of our book about my grandfather’s pictures of schooners, and in between shots of cargo holds and sea captains I have found a few gems that provide a narrative of fashion in the 1920’s and 30’s. As most people who know me are aware, I am fairly convinced that I was born in the wrong decade, and have always been fascinated with early 20th century art, style and culture. I got the idea to do a series of family images from the blog The Sartorialist, and I plan to share photos of my grandparents and parents for your enjoyment over the coming weeks.
Here are my grandfather and great grandfather in 1926, when grandpa was 17. It was on this sailing trip from Boothbay Harbor, Maine to Jacksonville, Florida that our earliest schooner photographs were taken. I get such a kick out of my great grandfather’s sweater; it’s like a scotsman and a swede tried to design a pattern together. Stylish, and quintessentially WASPy, even on the high seas. White pants wouldn’t have lasted 2 days on my Sea Semester voyage!
Here’s Grandpa in 1937 on his honeymoon in Europe. The man loved his crewneck sweaters. On an archival note, the upper left corner is what happens when a fingerprint is left to stew on negative emulsion for 70 years- my worst nightmare! It was in terrible shape, but it’s still a pretty good image given that the neg is about the size of a postage stamp!
These images are the intellectual property of the Goddard family and may not be used or reproduced without permission. Please contact CGoddard24@gmail.com if you are interested in using them.
When i was a kid I knew of kilim rugs as the scratchy, terribly uncomfortable textiles that my grandmother liked to make pillows out of. Over the years, however, their faded colors, exquisite craftmanship and value as remnants of an ancient artistic tradition have grown on me. I found this bag from the 70’s in New York on Fashion’s Night Out this past friday at Exquisite Costume in Soho.
Hurricane Earl has come and gone; I have always been fascinated with the way a beach can be completely reshaped by a storm surge. I started photographing products for my Etsy store on the Marine Ave. beach today, and then I was looking for changes and marooned objects to capture on the beach, and before I knew it I was walking home through my neighborhood looking at everything with a fresh eye, as though the buildings I’ve seen countless times had just suddenly showed up along with the winds.