About the artist
Thomas Edward Blake (1902-1994) was more than just an American athlete, inventor, and writer. He was a game-changer, a pioneer who brought surfing from the shores of Hawaii to national prominence. They regard him as the one who kick-started California's surf culture, revolutionizing surfboard design with his ingenious experimentation with lightweight materials and fins. He also set a trend, becoming the first in a long line of surfers to document his escapades and pen a book about the exhilarating world of surfing. His laid-back personal style became the blueprint for the iconic beachcomber look.
In addition, Blake made significant contributions to underwater photography. Back in 1929, he bought a Graflex camera from Duke Kahanamoku, made a waterproof housing for it, and began capturing underwater and surfing shots. A photo feature of his shots in the 1935 National Geographic magazine showcased the potential of his device.