Photographer Slim Aarons was a man ahead of his time. He captured the glamour, luxury, and leisure of the jet-set crowd during the mid-20th century. One of his most famous works was his collection of photographs of Palm Springs, a desert oasis that attracted the rich and famous in the 1950s and 60s.
Aarons' photographs of Palm Springs showcased the opulence of the desert city, including its stunning architecture, sprawling estates, and vibrant social scene. He was a master at capturing the essence of the city, showcasing its beauty and character through his lens.
One of the most recognizable images from Aarons' Palm Springs collection is a photograph of a group of women lounging by a pool at the Kaufmann House. The image, titled Poolside Gossip, which was taken in 1947, is a perfect example of Aarons' ability to capture the casual elegance of the desert city. The women, dressed in their finest swimwear and surrounded by lush greenery, embody the luxury and leisure that drew so many to Palm Springs. The three main subjects were Nelda Linsk (the home owner at the time, dressed in yellow) along with Helen Dzo Dzo (Kaptur) and Lita Baron.
Department store entrepreneur Edgar J. Kaufmann Sr. was the home’s original owner — as well as the first owner of Frank Lloyd Wright’s famed Fallingwater home in Pennsylvania. The striking modernist structure was sold off-market for $13.06 million in 2020. Previous owners of the property include the singer Barry Manilow and the late Eugene Klein, who had owned the San Diego Chargers.
Aside from his photographs of Palm Springs, Aarons also captured images of other luxurious destinations around the world, including the French Riviera, Gstaad, and Acapulco. He was a master at capturing the beauty of these destinations and the people who frequented them.
Throughout his career Slim Aarons proved himself to be a uniquely talented photographer who captured the glamour and luxury of mid-20th century Palm Springs. His images of the desert city remain a testament to the beauty and character of this iconic destination. Today, his photographs continue to inspire and captivate audiences, providing a window into a bygone era of opulence and leisure.