Written by Aggie Morris, Development Coordinator
To embrace the warmer weather, “Swimming Party” by Alice Ferguson is the perfect painting to highlight as we embark on the summer season.
“Swimming Party” by Alice Ferguson depicts an active scene of bathers in Frog Pond, the name of the beloved ravine that used to be on the property of the Alice Ferguson Foundation. Alice’s famous “gang” joyously swims in the makeshift swimming pool.
The thick forest of the grounds anchors the painting, as deep greens offset the sunny atmosphere of the bathers towards the foreground. The wooded scene is a stark contrast to the glare on the fresh water. Alice perfectly captured the reflecting light atop the water, as sun rays beam onto the figures.
Several bathers stand at the edge of the pond, anxiously waiting for their moment to jump into the water. Others sit and relax on the edge, some with their feet just slightly resting in the depths of the water. In the foreground, the viewer sees a few of the “gang” members submerged in the swimming hole. A dog, perhaps Alice’s Caligula, can be seen on the right edge of the gorge. Various kinds of swim attires are seen, and some of the swimmers are wearing caps attributable to that time period.
Alice Ferguson writes, “We made the forest into a park and built roads that would take us from anywhere to anywhere in any weather… After we had completed some of these things we grew more ambitious and invested in cement. I knew nothing about building dams, but we dammed a brook in the bottom of the gully and built a swimming pool that became known as the Frog Pond” (Adventures in Southern Maryland).
Below is an image of the swimming hole being constructed!
Alice and Henry were no strangers to fun and adventure, and “Swimming Party” is another way to reminisce about the various escapades that took place at Hard Bargain Farm. Swimming is the perfect summer activity, and is a great way to get outdoors. It’s also one of the signature activities of our summer camps! If interested in experiencing this year’s Summer Adventure Camp, please register here.