Pages of History

The newsletter of the Naturist Education Foundation and the Naturist Action Committee.

Volume 1, Number 6.  June 2020.

St. Lucie County, Florida, Officially Designates a Naturist Beach

Richard Mason, NAC Board Member
Special Advisory
June 9, 2020

County Commissioners, after observing a "recognized" naturist beach area at  Blind Creek Beach on luxurious Hutchinson Island for over 5 years, voted by ordinance, at their June 2, 2020 county commission meeting to officially designate the over 1/2 mile of beach a "Naturist Beach."

On a 4-to-1 vote the commission members showed their support and appreciation of the efforts made by members of the Treasure Coast Naturists in not only establishing the clothing-optional naturist beach, but also to the care they took of the environment.

The Naturist Action Committee was a major financial supporter in the past to the Treasurer Coast Naturists', naturist beach efforts when they were forced to hire an expensive professional Tallahassee government affairs firm to clear up a land ownership and use dispute between the state of Florida and St. Lucie County on the boundaries and use of Blind Creek Beach.

Various county commissioners and other county officials commented on how the naturist beach visitors kept the beach clean by taking out food and drink containers, educating new visitors on keeping out of the delicate dunes, and because of the beaches remote area, the Treasurer Coast Naturist association leased portable restroom facilities for the beach visitors use.

Further, through the Treasure Coast Naturist's Beach Ambassador Program they had human resources on the beach to educate beach visitors new to the nude beach experience on the rules known as Naturist Beach Etiquette.

Establishing the naturist beach was a learning experience for the whole community. Negative suspicions were quickly dashed by observation and on-site visitations.

Major supporters of the designation were the Hospitality Industry. When visitors to restaurants and hotels started to find cards left behind by their customers that stated. "You just did business with a visitor to Blind Creek Beach's Naturist Beach." The owners got the message and became aware of a new market segment within the tourist visitors.

The St. Lucie Count Tourist Development Agency voted unanimously to support the designation.

Naturist Action Committee board members were present to show their support.

Real estate brokers soon discovered naturist beach visitor winter snow birds that visit Florida during the winter month were renting houses and apartments in the St. Lucie/Fort Pierce area. Many were purchasing homes for future visits and for when they retire and move to Florida.

"Once a nude beach visitor, always a nude beach visitor," stated one attendee to the commission meeting.

Blind Creek Beach is the second officially designated naturist beach in Florida, but the first one designated by a county ordinance.

Haulover Beach Park's designated Naturist Beach to the south in Miami-Dade County was designated in 1991. Attracting over 1.2 million annual visitors, as a facility, it is the largest in annual attendance in South Florida and is a major tourist destination for both domestic and foreign tourists.

Because of Florida's weather, naturist beaches are a major attraction and are a large economic-benefit to the communities where they are located.

Naturist Beaches and nudist resorts are major contributors to the economic welfare of Florida, a state that has a small manufacturing base and must rely of tourism for tax revenues.

Florida's state tourist agency, Visit Florida has an option on its web site to enable visitors to the state to locate nudist resorts and clothing-optional naturist beaches.

The St. Lucie County Park Department will soon be installing signage alerting visitors to Blind Creek Beach of its clothing-optional status.

When asked about potential user conflicts, one county official commented: "If the nudity offends you, you can solve the issue by averting your eyes."

It was further pointed out by a government official that "Florida has over 860 miles of sandy beaches. Certainly, a few miles dedicated here and there for naturist beaches won't deny anyone of a beach to visit."

How you can help establish additional naturist beaches

You can support the Naturist Action Committee’s future efforts to establish designated naturist beaches and/or protect existing naturist beaches by donating to the Naturist Action Committee.

Visit our website at:, donate online, or send a check to:
   Naturist Action Committee
   PO Box 132
   Oshkosh, WI. 54903

The Naturist Action Committee - Defending Naturist Rights and Naturist Beaches

NEF Provides Grant for the Sky Farm Historical Document Preservation Project

Susan Shopiro, NEF Board Member
Skinny dipping and air baths have long been part of the American culture whether cooling off on a hot day after outdoor tasks or as part of health practices.  However organized Social Nudism came to the United States in the first quarter of the 20th century, imported from Germany by members of the Freikörperkultur (FKK) or free body culture movement.  The founders of Sky Farm were followers of this movement.  The members of the American League for Physical Culture, as Sky Farm was called then, purchased the land that the club still resides on in 1932.

Since that moment the records of the club's membership, activities, brochures, camp rules, by-laws, advertisements, posters, pictures, blueprints, I could go on have been piling up in boxes stored in members homes and cabins or in an unheated metal building called the Pole Barn.  Members of the Sky Farm Historical Society have regularly done dives into the treasure trove to create displays and write articles to educate the newer members and general public.  Some of these documents are 88 years old and showing their age.  One leaky roof could destroy the history of the club as well as some of the earliest history of organized nudism in this country.

The members of the Sky Farm Historical Society have organized a group of volunteers who are currently reviewing all these files, notebooks, pictures, to determine what should be shared openly with naturist libraries and what can be accessed with permission of the Sky Farm Governors.  The second step of this project is to preserve in digital format all of the records and the Naturist Education Foundation (NEF) has provided a Grant to pay for the scanning equipment and storage devices.  The optical character recognition (OCR) portion of the project to make the documents searchable will be provided by the American Nudist Research Library (ANRL).

New Look, Thanks to Long-Dead German Artist(s)

Doug Hickok, NEFRL Director
Did you notice a new graphic at the top of the newsletter?  How about the one on the NEFRL website?

The Quest

Back in January, about the time I was revamping the NEF library website for the bright and cheery new year, I struck upon a good idea.  The new website, as I'm sure you've noticed, is quite boring!  There are too many tasks for us volunteers to do, and making things "pretty" falls fairly low in the list of priorities.

Besides, this day and age, it's pretty difficult to find nice graphics that you know for sure you can use.  Searching public domain photos can be hit or miss, usually since the search results don't specify why it's public domain or where it came from.  How can we verify it's legitimate?  Even stock photography sites are full of stolen images that the thieves are trying to make a buck on.  As a library, copyright is pretty important to us and we do our best to adhere to it.

We have a nudist library with tons of content.  My idea was to source our own graphics from our library which have become "public domain".  On January 1st, 2020, all works published in America from 1924 and older are considered to be in the public domain, which grants us permission for any kind of modification and use.

Made in America

Before my January visit to the NEF library, I created a list of magazines that are 1924 and older.  I was rather disappointed.  Naturism didn't really arrive in the US until the 1930's, so the only American magazines in the list were early issues of Physical Culture.  Paging through those, there were absolutely no graphics I thought were worthwhile for naturist library use.  Physical Culture, which became a pretty respectable naturist magazine, wasn't yet showing nudity in the early 1920's.

As a last resort, I cruised the books we have, looking for any American publications that fit the date range.  There, too, I came up empty-handed.  Lots of old books, but none from America that would be useful.

Made in Germany

The graphics I had in mind are all over the really old German magazines like Die Schönheit, Kraft und Schönheit, and Die Kultur, but I didn't know much about German copyright law.  So I pulled up a chair and did some reading over lunch.  That's where things got complicated.

German copyright law says that copyrighted items become public domain 70 years after the copyright-holder's death.  Of course, you need to know who the copyright holder is, and when they passed. This sounds easy, but keep in mind we're trying to track down people from 70+ years ago who may not be famous at all.

To complicate things more, a magazine publication is usually considered a derivative work.  The magazine publisher claims copyright on the layout, the article author claims copyright on their words, and an artist claims copyright on their artwork.  Since I was only interested in the artwork, the listed authors and the publisher's layout (and publication year) aren't relevant.  The magazine could be from any date.  But just because the publication was done in 1902 doesn't mean it's public domain.  If an artist did some artwork for that 1902 magazine when they were 18, and lived to be 70, it means it won't be public domain for another 4 years from now...which is 122 years after publication.

I cruised the German titles in search of some graphics that I liked -- the ones I had in mind originally.  Quite a few of the graphics either didn't have a signature, or had some cryptic initials that were probably identifiable by name 100 years ago.  It's sad that many of these wonderful artists simply aren't identifiable nowadays.

Mystery signature on a graphic I'd like to use - anyone know for sure who this is?

But then I stumbled on one I could read, who was popular enough to still be well known today, and who died 72 years ago.  His name is Fidus.  His popularity has survived so well because of his rediscovery in the late 1960's as inspiration for the hippie culture.

Not only does NEF have several German magazines with his artwork, but we have an entire book with his biography (in German) and many pages of his faithfully-reproduced artwork.  Despite this book being published in 1972, the artwork from Fidus is considered public domain as long as we only copy out the artwork and nothing else on the page.

Book cover.  (Fair Use.)

That doesn't mean the graphics from us are public domain.  Just like the magazine publishers laying out a page of content, NEF is creating a derivative work.  I've been processing them in numerous ways to get the look I want.  The Pages of History logo is cleaned up quite a bit from the original, and our text is added.  The graphic on the NEFRL website is cleaned up too, but also stretched to be wider and a third figure has been removed, before adding the NEFRL wording.  In the hands of a decent graphic artist, who knows what interesting remixes they could come up with.  We at least have some material we can use to start with.

Full Circle

I stumbled on a second discovery while thumbing through the Fidus book.  Does this artwork remind you of anything you've seen before?

Putting kids on leashes is still pretty normal in Germany, and pretty smart if you think about it.

It's one of a four-part set, each titled Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.  You can view the complete set at the Worthpoint site.  This image is "Spring".  The one used by The Naturist Society for at least the last 15 years is titled "Summer".  How they got permission to use this graphic commercially from a deceased German is anyone's guess, but it's possible that Lee Baxandall tracked down the family.  Either way, the work is officially public domain as-of 2018.

More About Fidus

Hogo Höppener (Fidus) studied the Art Nouveau style, along with other styles, under K. W. Diefenbach.  (You can see the similarity between the silhouettes mentioned above and these by Diefenbach.)  It's interesting that Diefenbach ran a commune for a few years (1895-1898) that practiced naturism and living in harmony with nature, among other concepts.  Since Diefenbach was laid to rest in 1913, his works would all be considered public domain as well.

According to the book "Body, Femininity and Nationalism: Girls in the German Youth Movement 1900-1934", the author states the following about Fidus:

"[Fidus] was not only a painter and draughtsman but also a prophet and a 'priest'.  He preached in words and images the pure love between man and a woman, their merging, the unity of body and soul, the German Gottglauben [believing in God], the unity of nature and culture, the rejection of civilization, intellect, industry, and the urban.  Fidus wasn't particularly in demand in modern artistic circles.  Generally they found his art appalling, and his messages tasteless.  The life-reforming ideals which he had followed found more approval in the youth movement."

Fidus and his art were very much in demand for magazines associated with the youth movement, and concepts like body culture and nudism came from that movement.  His art can be seen in numerous naturist publications spanning from about 1900 to 1930, and some even dedicated special issues to him or carried his writings.

A second wave of popularity happened in the 1960's.  Fidus was an inspiration to a whole generation of hippie culture and their artwork.  The article from mentions him as "perhaps the greatest psychedelic artist ever, pre-dating the 1960's multi-colored posters and albums by over a half century".  (This article also includes a photo of both Fidus and Diefenbach from 1887, which is interesting itself.)

We appreciate your art, Fidus, and we thank you for all the wonderful work you've done.

New Arrivals

Doug Hickok, NEFRL Director
If you've been in the mood to go streaking, but didn't have the tunes to play while you're on the run, we're here to help!

The second batch of vinyl records has been digitized and are available for "digital lending" to library members.  This batch contained all 42 of the songs we have on streaking, covering most genres including rock, pop, R&B, calypso, funk, country, hustle, and even a polka.

NEF would like to sincerely thank the person we hired to digitize all of the vinyl records and cassette tapes for us.  He isn't a naturist (yet), but did mention an unexplained urge to go streaking after hearing 42 songs in a row on the subject.  Beyond that, he was genuinely impressed that so many artists cared enough to create all those songs about both skinny dipping and streaking.  As a musician himself, he said the history we have is certainly interesting!

Sadly, I can't claim that "All" of our music has been digitized yet.  There is one pesky record that requires a French Pathé record player, and those are hard to come by these days!

Assembled and published for NEF and NAC by Doug Hickok,

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