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Staley-Wise presents an exhibition of rare signed Slim Aarons photographs, many never seen before with detailed captions pinpointing subject, time, and place.

Slim Aarons (1916-2006) made a career, in his words, “photographing attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places.” His subjects were the beautiful and the celebrated, the rich and the powerful, high society and aristocracy. Slim Aarons captured their image for the picture magazines – Life, Holiday, Town & Country – throughout the second half of the twentieth century. In doing so he defined the image of the Beautiful People, the international Jet Set who strode the world’s stage in the postwar decades like young gods.

From Dali to Queen Elizabeth, JFK, Mick Jagger, Truman Capote, and Ted Williams, the exhibition offers a glimpse into the world of the Beautiful People at play, on holiday, in glamorous locales, taking the sun, shedding their clothes, letting their hair down. From Palm Beach to Palm Springs, from Mustique to Monaco, from Aspen to Gstaad, Slim Aarons takes us on a journey to the most exclusive playgrounds of the rich. A place in the sun is that special place of privilege under a bright and beaming sky, whether on a sandy shore or snowy slope, where all the cares of the world are forgotten, and it is time to relax and have fun.

Developing the environmental portrait to an art, Slim Aarons engaged in both formal portraiture and reportage, and he always remained true to his subjects. He showed them as they saw themselves. In so doing he gained their trust and that most precious thing: access. And so he was welcomed into the exclusive precincts of the beau monde, in essence attaining the status of court photographer. The images included here, recording the glittering class on vacation, are among the choicest fruits of that access. And so we see starlets and princess, moguls and mavens, aristocrats and arrivistes.

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