A timeless image characterised by misty golden sunlight, a trio of glamorous women and striking modernist architecture, “Poolside Gossip” represents the ultimate example of the lavish and carefree lives of the American elite.
Arriving in Palm Springs in January 1970, Slim Aarons was tasked with producing a series of shots for Holiday magazine. After photographing a number of high profile figures including famed writer Truman Capote and industrial designer Raymond Loewy, Aarons knew he couldn’t leave town without a pool shoot. Reaching out to his good friend Nelda Linsk, he asked her to invite a few friends over for an impromptu daytime party.
Owned by Linsk and her husband Joseph, Kaufmann House was the idyllic setting of this gathering -- a modernist house designed by renowned architect Richard Neutra in 1946, a building widely regarded by critics today as one of the most important houses of the 20th century in the United States.
For two hours Slim documented Nelda and her fashionable friends as they casually gathered around the pool, to produce a series of photographs that have come to represent the epitome of California Cool. They have all the hallmarks of a classic Slim Aarons photograph: “attractive people, doing attractive things in attractive places” as Slim himself would say.
Recognised as the most iconic image from the series, “Poolside Gossip” has ingrained itself into popular culture, becoming an everlasting symbol of style and modernism, and influencing designers and artists for years to come. The image features actress Lita Baron approaching Nelda Linsk (right, in yellow), and her friend, Helen Kaptur (left).
Celebrated as one of the world’s leading photographers from the 1950s onwards, Aarons’ prints have been showcased in numerous magazines and galleries around the world. Notorious for his ability to effortlessly capture the attitudes and lifestyle of the American and European elite through his lens, Aarons’ talent earned him access to a number of high profile locales and subjects, such as: Jackie Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Errol Flynn, and Princess Grace of Monaco.
Despite spending decades photographing the rich and famous and being welcomed openly into their world, Aarons never expressed any desire to join this world, or to spend any more time with his subjects than necessary. Referring to himself as “a simple farm boy”, he merely enjoyed creating the opportunity for the economy class to stand in awe at the glorified rich.
Paying homage to this shot and further highlighting its impact on popular culture, two of the women in the original shot, Linsk and Kaptur returned to the house to recreate this image in 2015 for Palm Springs Modernism Week to mark its 45th anniversary. Interviewed by the New York Times as part of the event, Ms. Linsk cheekily takes credit for the photograph’s success. Asked by Aarons why the photo became so famous, she replied “Slim, it’s because I’m in it.”
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Slim Aarons’ iconic image, “Poolside Gossip”, FINEPRINT co are pleased to announce a series of limited edition prints featuring this modern masterpiece and accompanying works.
SHOP "POOLSIDE GOSSIP" 50th ANNIVERSARY
Shop our amazing range of exclusive Slim Aarons printed off the original negative. FINEPRINT co offers premium quality photographic prints from the Slim Aarons Archive, owned and housed by Getty Images. All photographs are printed and authorised by the Getty Images Gallery, London.