About the photographer
Born in Denmark in 1884, Mary Willumsen was one of, if not the first, woman to take erotic portraits of women. In contrast to the given style, Marys subjects were often happy, smiling at the camera. At the very least they were natural and relaxed, unprepossesingly erotic by the fact of their nudity. Shot at a beach establishment, the women are represented in a male free environment and as such are not objectified. When the police began showing unwanted interested in her work, which were sold as erotic postcards, Mary quit photography and embarked upon a career acquiring and selling antiques, never again returning to the camera. Marys work has since been recognized not only for its artistic value but for the integral feminist message it carries, that it is not the subjectification of women which makes them erotic, but the beauty and strength their bodies express in any given environment. Mary died in 1961.