Leah Lovell and Pauline Schindler ran a progressive school together in the 1920s. This image shows them in a sundrenched garden in Los Angeles, holding hands in a circle with several children (including two sons of the photographer Edward Weston). Most of the children are barefoot and naked but for underwear. Not surprisingly for the wife of naturopathic doctor Philip M. Lovell, it appears that sunbathing was part of their school’s curriculum.
The image serves as a curious archetype of the era, conjuring similarly clad children at a Pasadena Preventorium, or in the Swiss snow, taking in the healing rays at Auguste Rollier’s heliotherapy clinic, or indoors at an English light-therapy lab.