Morris Rosenfeld photographed women at various sporting events, yacht races, and other social venues for newspapers and magazines. He saw a generation on the cusp between old Victorian ideals about gentile womanhood and new ideas about the “modern,” more athletic woman.

A national sporting culture was developing during the early twentieth century. To many, the female athlete represented both the promises and dangers of the new modernism, with her shorter hair, looser clothes, more personal freedom, and exuberant physicality.

All social classes gained new sporting opportunities. The wealthy played golf, croquet, and tennis in summer resorts and country clubs. Working-class girls and women could join a jostling foot race at a county fair or enjoy a day at the beach. These Rosenfeld photographs capture the spirit of this fascinating period in women’s sports.

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