Andy Sweet, Charles Trainor & Bunny Yeager: Vintage Miami

February 23 - April 1, 2017



Denise Bibro Fine Art, Chelsea, NYC, celebrates this rare opportunity to present works from three influential photographers who documented Miami’s history in the making from the 50’s through the 70’s.

Miami was a very different city before the 1940’s; during WWII, Miami was flooded with thousands of soldiers serving in the war effort. The natural landscape of the ocean and its beaches as we know were present, but the colorful, eccentric, lively and diverse Miami we know today was just a seed. Nevertheless, the word quickly got out, particularly from the soldiers that were housed in the hotels: Miami was a place to visit and enjoy. These photographers archived people, events and phenomena that have facilitated the development of the Miami we know today…. Seductive, warm, exciting, risk taking, and multicultural. Stimulation and growth in Miami was busting and seeing no turning back.

Andy Sweet photographed the mostly-Jewish community that made up Miami Beach. Many Jews came from the Northeast, particularly New York, but most were European immigrants or children of immigrants. Miami became their playground, a place to enjoy one another, share experiences, and enjoy their success and fruits of their labor in a warm place. For many it was a place where they carried on the same traditions they had before the war in Eastern Europe.

Charles Trainor documented important events in Miami, including the Beatles first visit to the United States as they were approaching another level of stardom, having already achieved considerable success in England and in other parts of Europe. His photos of the Beatles included their famous meeting with Muhammad Ali. President Kennedy contacted him to request a copy of a portrait of the President he shot in Miami.

Bunny Yeager was a model and trend setting pin-up photographer. She developed the use of the selfie, way before it was fashionable. Besides photographing herself, she photographed the models she worked with and befriended, including the infamous Betty Page. Some of the most famous of these photos took place in Miami and a theme park in Boca Raton, Florida. Bunny taught her friend Sammy Davis Jr. how to photograph models in 1955, at a time when they couldn’t be seen together in a restaurant. Bunny’s photos were trendsetting for the time. Yeager wrote books on photography, and worked for Playboy and other publications when there were few women who dared to enter the field. Her work was contemporary, seductive, and feminine but classy, in a way her male counterparts seldom achieved.