It was Slim Aarons who perfected, if not invented, the environmental portrait while photographing the international elite in their exclusive playgrounds during the postwar heyday of the jet-set: his self-described mission, to document attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places. This book is the ultimate insider’s view of the lifestyles of the wealthy, privileged, and powerful.
From the end of World War II through the 1980s, Aarons photographed the rich and famous, the beautiful and the celebrated. His postwar portraits form a virtual genealogy of wealth, privilege, and talent – in al its manifestations: Hollywood royalty, European aristocracy, the grande dames of high society, captains of industry, media moguls, statesmen, and stars of every sort. Though upholding the glamorous image of wealth, power, talent, and beauty, he saw himself as a journalist whose duty it was to inform, and this led him to develop the environmental portrait – photographing his subjects at home, at work, at play, and mingling with each other. Indeed his subjects are almost always shown in a setting synonymous with their station in life. And in a host of memorable portraits, across a vast geography of resorts, spas, estates, palaces, elegant apartments, and other glamorous settings, Slim Aarons’s photographs define that legendary class known as the Beautiful People and documents a lost era of style, grace, and the good life.
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