Is there a social context or connotation to this photograph?
This photo ties in very well to our Coney Island exhibitions. One important social context here is that Coney Island, throughout its history, was known as a place where social norms could be cast aside and the mixing of races was more easily accepted there.
It seems that although their presence at the beach is enjoyable but they are still isolated (segregated) and their mood is heavy?
Even at Coney Island, 1880 was only so progressive. I bet the heavy mood has something to do with their heavy clothes on the beach on a summer's day.
Be on the lookout for more indicators of casting aside of social norms in the Coney Island shows!