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Slim Aarons: A Place in the Sun Hardcover – December 1, 2005

4.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Flipping through the azure, emerald and sun-kissed pages of "golden age" celebrity photographer Aarons's third collection of images, it's hard not to feel a certain nostalgia, even if a backyard wading pool is as close as one ever got to the Cap d'Antibes. For as devotedly as Aarons documented the glamorous lives of the now all-but-vanished jet set—for magazines like Life, Holiday and Town and Country in the '50s, '60s and '70s—he was also witness to a time when the relationship between the "Beautiful People" and the rest of us was mostly one of uncomplicated envy and admiration. Oh, sure, some bitter Trotskyist might have objected to the godlike image of a nonchalant Kirk Douglas water-skiing with his hands on his hips, but many people were happy to gaze upon these photos of dewy poolside heiresses and arcadian Rolls-Royce desert picnics. Aarons himself had been through WWII; is it any wonder, then, that when asked to cover Korea, he replied that "the only beach [he] was interested in landing on was one decorated with beautiful seminude girls tanning in a tranquil sun"? In an age when celebrities have increasingly become the objects of ridicule and disgust, of "inside" gossip and intrusive speculation, Aarons's lushly appointed and tenderly chronicled world looks more attractive than ever. (Dec.)
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From Booklist

Ah, the beautiful people! Their faces and circumstances change, individually and historically, but they seem always to be with us. Aarons was West Point's official lenser and a World War II combat shutterbug before becoming "court photographer to the Jet Set," as editor Sweet calls him, for most of the twentieth century's latter half. He also did fashion photography, though "my models were wearing their own clothes," he said. Aarons' images constitute the ultimate glamour photography. Presented by location, from Monaco through southern Europe and a bit of central Africa, then west to Bermuda, the Caribbean, Mexico, and the U.S., they show the rich and famous (more of the former than the latter, who are mostly movie stars) at play. Aarons never used a stylist, a makeup artist, or anything but natural light (if you were rich, famous, and ugly, you stayed away from the places Aarons photographed), and since the settings encouraged swimwear, it is astonishing how beautiful these people were. Astonishing, too, is the electric intensity of the colors, even when visual details are smudged by distance and softened focus. They don't take pictures like this anymore. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; First edition (December 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810959356
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810959354
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 1.2 x 12.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
With the recent death at age eighty of Slim Aarons the end of the time of the 'beautiful people' seems at an end - at least the photo documented class of the rich and famous as seen by the chief photographer of that elite group.

Slim Aarons earned his place in the sun. He was a combat photographer in WW II and after the war in which he lost his twin brother, he simply elected to not look at things that were ugly any more: saturation from the scenes of war played out its dynamic in a distant path for Aarons. He spent his fifty-odd years photographing the haunts of the wealthy and the beautiful, finding the special places, and openly introduced to the clans. He found the elegance of wealth as his subject, photographing beautiful people in their beautiful surroundings. Some would call this a shallow obsession, but his photographs became famous, e.g. Hollywood Legends, Joan Collins demurely stretched out on her bed with her pink poodle, etc.

Now Slim Aarons is gone and with him has passed the time when leisure among those who had it all has been tainted by the paparazzi. Aarons kept it clean and eloquent, and we are fortunate to have this excellent volume of his works as a celebration of his talent. Christopher Sweet is the one to thank for that and he has created a photo album well worth perusing, well worth remembering when times were different. Grady Harp, June 06
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Format: Hardcover
Slim Aarons really knew how to capture the jet set of a certain era, his images are so well crafted and the lucky subjects are always shown in there best light, literally and figuratively. The best picture in an array of amazing photography, and one that perfectly captures this rarified air, is the iconic picture of CeZe Guest standing by her pool, it captures all you need to know good and bad, through the prism of a beautiful woman, in a beautiful setting without a seeming care in the world, the very definition of, "To the Manor Born". Mr. Aarons captures so perfectly a life of unapolegetic jet setting opulance, and whether he means to are not he also captures the shallowness of it all, and you wonder, with all of this, are these people really any happier than the rest of us?
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Format: Hardcover
Being that Slim Aarons recently passed away, his work warrants an even closer work. What this book and the equally impressive Once Upon a Time have in common is that they portray true grace, elegance and class that makes todays celebrities look like a bunch of bums.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Slim Aarons creates the perfect gift for that special hostess in the Hamptons, Palm Beach, Naples or Nantucket. Aarons displays the beautiful lives of the beautiful people in an era when the priviledged were unapologetic for their good fortune. His books are unique and unavailable in stores. You really must make an effort to purchase them, which makes them a very special gift for the uninitiated. Aarons wrote several - if possible order all. They are beautifully bound, large cocktail table books, irresistable for the browser. I order them in multiples.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautiful pictures that tell us volumes about the social class portrayed in them.
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