Inside the Palm Springs Racquet Club

By Susan Bernard
Photography by Bruno Bernard

This Book will focus on Bernard of Hollywood photographs, which will be a thread weaving its way through the social climate of Hollywood's Golden Era: how the stars of the time reflected a post-war America filled with hope and optimism. We saw these heroes glamorized on the silver screen; it was a time and place where glamour was truly glamorous, and the stars behaved as such. The reigning studio system, which created these stars was a booming business and dictated a lifestyle, an image, and ultimately an illusion.

The best place for these stars to escape this illusion was the very private and exclusive hideaway, created in 1934, in a sleepy little valley called Palm Springs-- the Palm Springs Racquet Club. The stars were close enough to Hollywood, yet far enough away to have fun, let their hair down, roll up their shirtsleeves, and simply be themselves, as opposed to their carefully orchestrated screen images. They could consort with their peers, nurture discreetly those private relationships that would become the symbols of romance in our minds. Most importantly, it was a haven where they felt safe and guarded from the flashbulbs and glare of the media spotlight, except from the camera lens of their trusted friend, Bruno Bernard, who established the first of his four studios in the Springs, crowning it Bernard of Hollywood.