Vintage 1970s Miami Beach culture: All quirk, no vice

Placeholder while article actions load

On the heels of the official first day of summer, here’s a look at one of the places most identified with iconic beach culture: Miami Beach.

Throughout the 1970s, a young photographer named Andy Sweet documented the personalities of Miami in vivid color. In 1977, Sweet returned to the area after completing his studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder and set out to document South Beach’s vivid old-world culture. His subjects–predominantly the quirky, stylish, eclectic elderly residents, many of them Jewish–either grew up in the Miami area or were the snow birds who flocked there and found a nest for life.

Sweet died in 1982 at the age of just 29, but his vivid archive continues to epitomize South Beach (SOBE) culture and aesthetics. The Andy Sweet Photo Legacy was established in his memory and continues to display his work with hopes of  publish a book of Sweet’s work in the future.