NEF Grant is Hard At Work

The Western Nudist Research Library (WNRL), at Glen Eden (California), has been busy working through the archive donated by Dr. Cec Cinder. As announced in the December newsletter, NEF provided a $16,000 grant to aid WNRL in the acquisition. Among the 34 boxes of materials were books, magazines, and some artwork with a little mystery.

Book Collection

As reported by WNRL:

“There are a total of 238 copies of 202 different titles. The books were published over a 105-year period of time ranging from 1906 to 2011. While the historical significance of these books has not yet been fully considered, as shown here, the collection includes 15 titles that were published prior to 1930.”

A few of the more significant books/manuscripts of note that were found, as described by WNRL:

  • A prepublication draft of Cec Cinder’s The Nudist Idea. It was apparently written in 1988, ten years prior to publication. It will be interesting to learn how the manuscript changed over that ten year period.
  • The ultimately unsuccessful 1974 proposal by Beachfront USA to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to create a clothing-optional beach.
  • The New Gymnosophy: The Philosophy of Nudity as Applied in Modern Life, written and signed by Maurice Parmelee in 1927. There is currently a signed copy of this book on sale at Abe Books; the seller is asking $800.

Magazine Collection

As reported by WNRL:

“19 of the 34 boxes of the material we received from the Cinder residence contained mostly magazines, and the large majority of them were published in the United States. Our inventory of US magazines that were found in those boxes included copies of 83 different magazines, totaling 1,396 copies of 884 different issues. While the collection we received goes as far back as the 1930’s, the large majority of the 884 issues (73%) were published in the 1950’s and 1960’s.”

Artwork

As reported by WNRL:

“Along with the 34 boxes we received from the Cinder residence was a roll of six canvases containing 3 ft x 4 ft paintings of nudes by an Indian artist by the name of Savithri. The story I’ve heard is that when she painted nudes in India, she potentially put herself in danger because of how the government might respond. But eventually that concern lessened, and she ended up displaying her art at galleries in Bangalore, Bombay, and even Rawhide Ranch in California (now Laguna Del Sol). We have no explanation for how Dr. Cinder acquired the paintings or what his relationship to Savithri was.”

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