‘Poolside Gossip’: Reliving the Iconic Photo

‘Poolside Gossip’: Reliving the Iconic Photo

Martín Di Felice

Palm Springs, CA

Another Modernism Week for the books and on the final day visitors caught up with a mid-century darling for "Poolside Gossip", and re-created an iconic photograph. 

Nelda Linsk sits inside countless homes around the world, but on Sunday, she posed for photographs with quests inside the event’s headquarters. 

Linsk said, "People from Australia, people from Paris, people from Germany, people from London and so many have came up to me and say we have you hanging on our wall, we see you every day, and I love that."

She is the front and center of a timeless picture by American photographer Slim Aarons. The photo is titled, "Poolside Gossip" and it shows Linsk lounging and chatting with friend Helen Dzo Dzo by the pool of the Kaufmann House.

"Helen and I we try to remember what we were talking about," Linsk said. "Probably what we did the night before, or when is this going to end, when is going to be over, when can we stop smiling and posing."

She said it was a sunny day in 1970, and Aarons asked to gather some of her friends for a photo by the pool. She said the photo shoot was casual, she remembers it as a perfect day surrounded by friends. A day immortalized by Aarons. 

"He came that day with a tri-pod and a camera, that’s all, he did not have a hair dresser, he did not have a make-up artist, he did not have anyone to dress us," Linsk said.  "And that says a lot about the photographer, he doesn’t need all that, and look at how famous the photo turned out."

The photo has become the quintessential image of desert leisure. Marty Lewis lives in Palm Springs and he’s a fan of the photo, he said, "I’ve always liked the iconic Slim Aarons photo that she was in and I’ve seen in so many different houses in Palm Springs."

Linsk believes much of the love for the photograph comes from the way it makes people feel. 

She said, "People want to be in that photograph, they want to be here for that, they see themselves in that photograph."

And 50 years later, visitors of the Modernism Week were able to be a part of a mid-century classic. 

"I used to come here with my grandparents in the seventies and it just reminded me of that vibe that we used to as a kid," Lewis said. "You would see that kind of furniture, the pool, the sun, the outfits, so it has a nostalgic feel to me."