Social Graces: Slim Aarons’ Mid-Century Society Photographs
Babe Paley (Mrs William Paley) by the pool. Her husband, William Paley is snapping the photographer at their cottage, Round Hill, Jamaica, 1959.
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Slim Aarons worked mainly for society publications, taking pictures of the rich and famous both before and after serving as a photographer for the US military magazine Yank during World War II. His work has been included in the publications Town and Country, Holiday, Venture and LIFE. Aarons was known for the positive portrayals he gave to the people he photographed and was invited to high-society gatherings for exactly this reason. His subject matter covered American and European society as well as nobility and both minor and major stars of the day.
Signature: Estate stamped and numbered edition of 150
Slim Aaron’s photographs offer a glimpse into the lives of the American jet-set in the post-war era. Aarons photographed the rich and beautiful in palatial Malibu mansions, at society events, and on lush European beaches, winning the trust of celebrities and capturing the likes of Gary Cooper, Mick Jagger, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in private moments. His oeuvre evokes the glamour and grace of midcentury America, depicting what he often said were “attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places.” Aarons stopped working in the years leading up to his death, as he was displeased with the trends of magazine journalism that emerged in the 1990s and 2000s. His body of work represents an essential and iconic time-capsule of a bygone era.
American, 1916-2006, New York, New York