The 1960s were the period of Post-war France, when the country was booming with a newfound sense of optimism and energy. It was the time of New Wave cinema, existentialism, Yé-Yémusic, and streets filled with youth.
Photographer Charles W. Cushman, one of the first photographers to use colour imagery back in 1938, captured moments from the wonderful period in a collection of vintage photographs preserved today in the Indiana University Archives.
Take a moment to look through the photos and you’ll find yourself being transported more than 50 years back in time.
Cannes has seven kilometers of beaches that look out at the blue waters of the Mediterranean. The beaches are flanked by the glamorous promenade de la Croisette, where people stroll to see and be seen.
The Carlton hotel was the prime place to stay during the Cannes Film Festival, the headquarters for movie industry deal-making, and a favourite stop for movie lovers. The hotel is still around today and is operated by InterContinental hotels.
The Hotel Martinez, established in 1874, is still around today and remains one of the most popular to stay in. Today it's called the Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez.
Grasse, a town on the French Riviera, has been considered the world's capital of perfume since 1946. The town held an annual festival in May that still continues today, where crowds were sprayed with jasmine-infused water.
Saint-Paul, one of the oldest medieval towns on the French Riviera, was frequented by French actors like Yves Montand, Simone Signoret, and poets like Jacques Prévert in the 1960s. Today, it is known for its modern and contemporary art museums.
In 1960, Jazz à Juan, one of the top jazz festivals in the world, came to the town of Antibes in the Côte d'Azur. Today, the jazz festival still continues to attract crowds every year in July.
Pont du Loup, in the commune of Tourrettes-sur-Loup, sits along a twisty and scenic road below the Gorges-du-Loup. Locals would flock here on weekends for their candied fruits, which remains one of their best known items today.
Tourrettes-sur-Loup, a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department, was known for its arts and crafts like weaving, painting, pottery, jewellery, and sculptures created by the village residents.
Vence was also a prime location for outdoor markets where vendors sold fruits, vegetables and Mediterranean favourites like honey, nougat, breads, jams, cheese, and charcuterie. Today, Vence still has regular markets throughout the week.
Over the years, the French Riviera became an ideal travel location for escaping the masses to explore art. More than 50 years later, the South of France remains a prime cultural center.
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