I came upon Slim Aarons’ work this morning, and although I had seen his chronicling of all things famous and aristocratic from the ’50s to the ’70s, it was only today that I realized how deep his trove of work really is.
Aarons is perhaps most well known for his 1974 cult favorite book A Wonderful Time: An Intimate Portrait of the Good Life, which surveys castles, chalets, motor boats and villas that house beautiful people doing glamorous things. Aarons was born in modest circumstances in the beginning of the century in New Hampshire, and thus embodies the outsider photographer looking in. He built his image archive through his work for Vogue, Town and Country, Life, Holiday, and Travel and Leisure Magazine after beginning his career as a war photographer during WWII.
These portraits are glittering and fascinating and I can’t get enough of them. Have a look-see. See if you’re not in the mood for Rio when you’re done. Or a Capote novel.
Hon Desmond Guinness in his recently acquired home Leixlip Castle, Co Kildare, Ireland with his children Marina and Patrick. Their mother is Princess Marie Gabrielle von Urach. Holiday Magazine – 1963.
Marilyn Monroe (1926 – 1962), wearing a red negligee trimmed with black lace, sorts out her fan mail shortly after her film ‘The Asphalt Jungle’ had been released. Original Publication: A Wonderful Time.
April 1968: Elizabeth Matthews, descendant of H M Flagler co-founder of Palm Beach, sits in her great-grandfather’s favourite chair in front of the family mansion now the Flagler Museum, Palm Beach. From A Wonderful Time.
November 1948: An impromptu concert in Rome with American Jazz trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong (1901 – 1971), Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines (1905 – 1983) on piano and Jack Teagarden (1905 – 1964) on trombone playing with the ‘Rhythm Kings’. Hines and Teargarden play in Armstrong’s ‘All-Stars’ band.
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