The Selvedge Yard - "The Photography of Leroy Grannis"

Lady Jane, April 8 2012

Leroy Grannis Surfing PhotoLeroy Grannis's surfing photography from the 1960s

The Selvedge Yard contains an outstanding array of photography on all manner of historical subjects. Some photo series on the site include vintage Formula 1, Steve McQueen, Playboy, Dorothea Lange, 1970s New York, and even topless photos of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his body-building heyday (if you're really interested... find them yourself).

Among the best of these are the series of surfing photos taken by Leroy Grannis in the 1960s and 70s. Grannis started operating in 1959, by then well into middle age. He had been one of the first mainlanders to take the sport up when he was young, surfing Malibu and Hermosa Beach with his friends in the midst of the Great Depression. But war and family life intervened in this pursuit.

When Grannis came home from World War II, he and his friends went to Malibu and saw twelve people surfing in the waves. His response was to say -- "That's it, this place is ruined."

That didn't stop him from taking the defining photograph series of the California scene as it exploded in the 1960s. A distinctive culture grew up around this sport that has persisted to the present day -- though many assert that the large number of people involved has diluted the mystique.

**The Selvedge Yard specializes in historical photography, with an emphasis on the mid-20th century

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