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As a chronicler of the good life, as lived by the upper classes and aristocracy in
the 1950's, 60's and 70's, Slim Aarons has no peer. Born in New Hampshire in
the early years of the century, he was a classic outsider looking in, and as such
he idealized the rich. The women are beautiful and exquisitely dressed, the men
handsome and poised. The houses, shown in detail, range from European
palazzos and castles to Palm Beach palazzos to suburban and Southhampton
castles. Though we may catch a whiff of boredom and perhaps a lack of
purpose in his subjects, the overwhelming luxury of their surroundings and ease
of their lives may cast such doubts aside
Slim Aarons brought a photojournalist's eye to the art of formal society
portraiture, posing his subjects as still life, in their own magnificent
Aarons also visited Hollywood frequently on assignment and the stars at play
were also his subjects.
Slim Aarons served as a photographer during World War I, with the Eighth
Army Division, and this led to his career as a photographer. Affable and
stylish, Aarons found magazine work after the war at Town and Country,
Holiday, Vogue, Life, and Travel and Leisure.
With the publication of his book A Wonderful Time in 1974, this vanishing world
was crystalized. The book became a cult favorite among the fashion world
and his work is frequently copied in advertising campaigns.
This exhibition of black and white and color photographs marks the publication
of Slim Aarons: Once Upon a Time by Harry N. Abrams Inc. and is presented
with the collaboration of Getty Images.

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