Lynn Range | Luxury Real Estate

Slim Aarons’ ‘Poolside Gossip’ home sells for record $13M in Palm Springs

By Zachary Kussin | Originally published on on 05.04.22 - May 13, 2022

It’s a picture-perfect Palm Springs home that not only appeared in an iconic 1970s photograph, but also just broke a local sales record in the Southern California city.

The 1946-built Kaufmann Desert House, a striking modernist structure, has sold off-market for $13.06 million, the brokerage that handled its sale told The Post.

The property most recently asked $16.95 million for sale after initially listing for a cool $25 million in the fall of 2020. The new owner’s identity isn’t known, but the brokerage told The Post it’s someone “who has an incredible appreciation of modern architecture.” Moreover, according to the Wall Street Journal — which also caught wind of this sale — the newly minted owner is a European businessman.

Brent R. Harris, former managing director at money manager Pacific Investment Management Co., was identified as the seller. Harris had owned the home since the 1990s, undergoing a five-year restoration after buying it — work that revealed original materials used in its construction by removing previous alterations. Harris also completed a recent renovation on the spread.

By selling it, for simple reasons of passing on the home to someone else, Harris — as well as the unidentified buyer — snatched the record from a Palm Springs home that has a celebrity past. The former home of the late comedian Bob Hope sold in 2016 for $13 million.

That’s not to take away from the history of this just-sold residence, which Richard Neutra designed. Most notably, it appeared in the 1970 “Poolside Gossip” photograph snapped by the late shutterbug Slim Aarons, which shows two women in mod-looking outfits having a conversation in front of the pool — showing the home in the near background and mountains in the rear backdrop.

Department store entrepreneur Edgar J. Kaufmann Sr. was the home’s original owner — as well as the first owner of Frank Lloyd Wright’s famed Fallingwater home in Pennsylvania. Before Harris, other owners included the singer Barry Manilow and the late Eugene Klein, who had owned the San Diego Chargers. Another onetime owner: a socialite named Nelda Linsk, who appeared in that Aarons photograph.


Property images show mid-century modern touches — a style of architecture that Palm Springs has long been known for — including floor-to-ceiling windows, wooden ceilings, clean lines and, yes, that famed pool. The roughly 3,200-square-foot residence has five bedrooms and stands on some 3 acres. Inside, there are guest, service and main-bedroom wings off a centrally located living and dining room. Outside, there’s a pool pavilion and a tennis court.

Gerard Bisignano, of Vista Sotheby’s International Realty, represented both sides of the transaction.


More photos of this incredible home can be seen here:

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