Skip to main content

Slim Aarons

American, 1916-2006

American photographer Slim Aarons captured the 20th century’s international jet set — U.S. socialites, European royalty, Hollywood stars — at play in sun-kissed locales like Monaco, Saint-Tropez and Palm Beach, as well as other luxurious settings around the globe.

Committed to eschewing makeup and artificial lighting, Aarons created images that are at once candid and polished, combining the relaxed posture of his subjects, who trusted him to document their lives, with the visual sharpness of a seasoned art director. Having gotten his start taking pictures for the U.S. military magazine Yank during World War II, he contributed over the course of his career to Life, Town and Country and Holiday magazines and published several books.

Aarons was born in Manhattan in 1916. He joined the army at 18, shooting military maneuvers at West Point before serving as a combat photographer, for which he was awarded a Purple Heart. After the war, he moved to California and began snapping socialites and movie stars. In the 1950s, he opened a bureau for Life magazine in Rome, where he took pictures capturing the postwar scene. Aarons was always able to win the trust of his elite subjects, who saw him as close to a peer, rather than a paparazzo. In a 2002 interview with The Independent, he remarked, ''I knew everyone. They would invite me to one of their parties because they knew I wouldn't hurt them. I was one of them.'' This access allowed Aarons to document the rich and famous with their guard down, reading newspapers and magazines, talking on the phone, relaxing by the pool, and chatting with friends. The 1957 photograph The Kings of Hollywood, for example, which won him wide acclaim, shows Clark Gable, Van Heflin, Gary Cooper and Jimmy Stewart laughing together as they celebrate New Year’s Eve.

Many of Aarons’s best-known images involve games and sports. In the 1972 Poolside Backgammon, two young women play the board game of the title against the backdrop of a majestic Acapulco estate. In 1958’s Cannes Watersports, a couple attempts to glide across the Golfe de la Napoule on Jet Skis, one expertly and one hanging on for dear life. And in Penthouse Pool, shot in Athens in 1961, a young woman wearing a yellow bathing cap smiles coyly at the camera, surrounded by friends and brightly colored seat cushions, with the Acropolis faintly visible in the background. Among Aarons’s books are 1974’s A Wonderful Time: An Intimate Portrait of the Good Life, and its 2003 sequel, Once Upon a Time. His final book, A Place in the Sun, was published in 2005, one year before his death.

Find a collection of vintage Slim Aarons photography on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$3,365
Styles
Materials
Slim Aarons Yacht Holiday (Slim Aarons Estate Edition)
By Slim Aarons
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Tanned bodies on the deck of Dino Pecci Blunt’s yacht in Marbella, Spain 1967. Printed later. A group of bronzed young women captured from the back are seen enjoying the Spanish ho...
Category

1960s Realist Slim Aarons

Materials

Lambda

'Francine Brandt,' Estate Edition
By Slim Aarons
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Francine Brandt by a swimming pool in Acapulco, Mexico, January 1961. Slim Aarons Francine Brandt Chromogenic Lambda print Slim Aarons Estate Edition Complimentary dealer shipping t...
Category

1960s American Realist Slim Aarons

Materials

Lambda

Marbella Club, Estate Edition (Andalucia, Spain)
By Slim Aarons
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Slim Aarons' Pool at Porto Rotundo, an Estate Edition photograph, is a newly available vintage scene of the swimming pool of the Marbella Club, in Andalucia, Spain, looking out over ...
Category

1970s Realist Slim Aarons

Materials

Lambda

Iconic Slim Aarons Estate Edition 'Tania Mallet in the Bahamas'
By Slim Aarons
Located in Los Angeles, CA
1961: Actress Tania Mallet relaxes on a red-curtained four poster in Eleuthera, in the Bahamas. She is best known for her role as the unfortunate Tilly Masterson in the Bond film 'Go...
Category

1960s Realist Slim Aarons

Materials

Lambda

Lake Tahoe Trip, Estate Edition Photograph, Red, Green, White Canoes Zephyr Cove
By Slim Aarons
Located in Los Angeles, CA
1959: Young women canoeing on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe, a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, straddling the border of California and Nevada. Three young woman...
Category

1950s Realist Slim Aarons

Materials

Lambda

Marbella Club Bather, Estate Edition
By Slim Aarons
Located in Los Angeles, CA
A guest takes a break from the sun at the Marbella Club, Marbella, Spain, 1976. Aarons never used a stylist, or a makeup artist. Natural sun lights the central figure, who wears a pi...
Category

1970s American Realist Slim Aarons

Materials

Lambda

'Lech Ice Bar' Slim Aarons
By Slim Aarons
Located in New York, NY
Slim Aarons Lech Ice Bar 1960 (printed later) C print Estate stamped and numbered edition of 150 with Certificate of authenticity Caption: A bartender mixes a drink for a customer a...
Category

1960s Modern Slim Aarons

Materials

C Print

Slim Aarons, Chalet Costi (Style)
By Slim Aarons
Located in New York, NY
Skiing In Vail II, 1960 Chromogenic Lambda Print Estate edition of 150 A group of skiers stand in line waiting for the ski lift in Vail, Colorado, USA, 1964. Estate stamped and ha...
Category

1960s Modern Slim Aarons

Materials

Lambda

Browse all Art from Slim Aarons
Shop Now

Galleries Featuring Slim Aarons

International Fine Arts Consortium - IFAC Arts
4.9
Undercurrent Projects
4.8
Crane Kalman Gallery Brighton
5.0
Staley-Wise Gallery
5.0
NINETEENSIXTYEIGHT
No Reviews Yet
The Cary Collection
4.7
Provocateur Gallery
5.0

Slim Aarons art for sale on 1stDibs

1stDibs offers a wide variety of authentic Slim Aarons art for sale. If you're looking for art to add a pop of color to a neutral corner of your living room or bedroom, you can find work that includes elements of blue, purple, pink and other colors. You can also search for art by Slim Aarons in digital print, c print, lambda print and more by medium. Much of the original work by this artist or collective was created during the 20th Century and is mostly associated with the Modern style. Not every interior allows for large Slim Aarons art, so small editions measuring 10 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the works of Joel Meyerowitz, Harold Eugene Edgerton and Mark Shaw. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $635 and tops out at $35,000, while the average work can sell for $3,350. .

Recently Viewed

View More