Cecil Beaton

1st Jul 2020 - 15th Sep 2020

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On view in the gallery 1st July – 15th September.

An exhibition of vintage photographs by Cecil Beaton will trace his career from his early works in the 1920s through to the 1960s.

As a prominent member of the ‘Bright Young Things’ in London during the 1920s, Beaton was uniquely placed to photograph a generation of young socialites, avant-garde artists and writers. Stylish and experimental, his bold use of pattern, line and texture reflects the extravagance of the era and the high-spirited characters of the ‘Bright Young Things’.

His photographs provide an insight into this enduringly intriguing group, and both the public and private images they fashioned for themselves. Portraits include early photographs of his mother and his two sisters, Baba and Nancy, in theatrical costumes, alongside society figures such as poet and critic Edith Sitwell, as well as actresses Talullah Bankhead and Anna May Wong.

Beaton quickly became known for his theatrical use of elaborate props, costumes, and hand painted backdrops. He was celebrated for his ability to deftly reference the history of art, as well as the subtle use of motifs borrowed from emerging European Surrealism. Portraits of artists and designers in the exhibition include Salvador Dali, Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel.

Beaton’s career as an internationally renowned fashion photographer evolved naturally from his work as a society portraitist, and flourished under the patronage of Vogue, first in London and Paris, and by 1929, New York. A number of works in the exhibition demonstrate his innovative and distinctive fashion photography, and were produced during his time working for American Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

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Works

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Nancy and Baba Beaton, 1924 by Cecil Beaton

Nancy and Baba Beaton, 1924

Cecil Beaton

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Mrs Beaton, c. 1925 by Cecil Beaton

Mrs Beaton, c. 1925

Cecil Beaton

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Baba Beaton and Prince Galitzine, 1927 by Cecil Beaton

Baba Beaton and Prince Galitzine, 1927

Cecil Beaton

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Baba Beaton, 1927 by Cecil Beaton

Baba Beaton, 1927

Cecil Beaton

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Edith Sitwell, 1926 by Cecil Beaton

Edith Sitwell, 1926

Cecil Beaton

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Zita and Teresa Jungman, 1927 by Cecil Beaton

Zita and Teresa Jungman, 1927

Cecil Beaton

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Margot Asquith, Lady Oxford, after Henry van der Weyde, 1927 by Cecil Beaton

Margot Asquith, Lady Oxford, after Henry van der Weyde, 1927

Cecil Beaton

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Lady Edwina Mountbatten, 1927 by Cecil Beaton

Lady Edwina Mountbatten, 1927

Cecil Beaton

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Lady Pamela Smith, 1927 by Cecil Beaton

Lady Pamela Smith, 1927

Cecil Beaton

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Paula Gellibrand, Marquise de Casa Maury, c. 1928 by Cecil Beaton

Paula Gellibrand, Marquise de Casa Maury, c. 1928

Cecil Beaton

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Anne Armstrong-Jones, 1928 by Cecil Beaton

Anne Armstrong-Jones, 1928

Cecil Beaton

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Nancy Cunard, 1929 by Cecil Beaton

Nancy Cunard, 1929

Cecil Beaton

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Anna May Wong, 1930 by Cecil Beaton

Anna May Wong, 1930

Cecil Beaton

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Marianna Van Rensselaer In Charles James Hat, 1930 by Cecil Beaton

Marianna Van Rensselaer In Charles James Hat, 1930

Cecil Beaton

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Dame Edith Sitwell At Tea, 1930 by Cecil Beaton

Dame Edith Sitwell At Tea, 1930

Cecil Beaton

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Georgia Sitwell, Renishaw, 1930 by Cecil Beaton

Georgia Sitwell, Renishaw, 1930

Cecil Beaton

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Gertrude Lawrence, 1930 by Cecil Beaton

Gertrude Lawrence, 1930

Cecil Beaton

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Corinne Griffith, 1930 by Cecil Beaton

Corinne Griffith, 1930

Cecil Beaton

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Talullah Bankhead, 1930s by Cecil Beaton

Talullah Bankhead, 1930s

Cecil Beaton

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Mrs Daisy Fellowes, c.1930s by Cecil Beaton

Mrs Daisy Fellowes, c.1930s

Cecil Beaton

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Meraud Guinness, 1930s by Cecil Beaton

Meraud Guinness, 1930s

Cecil Beaton

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Madame Denise Bourdet, 1930s by Cecil Beaton

Madame Denise Bourdet, 1930s

Cecil Beaton

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Lady Pembroke, 1930s Cecil Beaton

Lady Pembroke, 1930s

Cecil Beaton

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Cora Caetani, 1930s by Cecil Beaton

Cora Caetani, 1930s

Cecil Beaton

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Mrs Beatrice Guiness, 1930s by Cecil Beaton

Mrs Beatrice Guiness, 1930s

Cecil Beaton

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Gary Cooper, 1931 by Cecil Beaton

Gary Cooper, 1931

Cecil Beaton

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Johnny Weissmuller, 1932 by Cecil Beaton

Johnny Weissmuller, 1932

Cecil Beaton

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Karen Morely, 1932 by Cecil Beaton

Karen Morely, 1932

Cecil Beaton

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Merle Oberon, 1934 by Cecil Beaton

Merle Oberon, 1934

Cecil Beaton

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Merle Oberon as Antonita, 1934 by Cecil Beaton

Merle Oberon as Antonita, 1934

Cecil Beaton

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Mary Taylor, c. 1934 by Cecil Beaton

Mary Taylor, c. 1934

Cecil Beaton

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The Countess of Pembroke, c. 1935 by Cecil Beaton

The Countess of Pembroke, c. 1935

Cecil Beaton

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Lady Jersey, 1935 by Cecil Beaton

Lady Jersey, 1935

Cecil Beaton

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Elsa Schiaparelli, 1936 by Cecil Beaton

Elsa Schiaparelli, 1936

Cecil Beaton

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Models wearing Schiaparelli Desk Suit, ‘Vogue’, 1936 by Cecil Beaton

Models wearing Schiaparelli Desk Suit, ‘Vogue’, 1936

Cecil Beaton

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Schiaparelli Model, Paris, c.1936 by Cecil Beaton

Schiaparelli Model, Paris, c.1936

Cecil Beaton

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Salvador Dali in Fencer’s Mask, 1936 by Cecil Beaton

Salvador Dali in Fencer’s Mask, 1936

Cecil Beaton

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Alice B. Toklas And Gertrude Stein, 1936 by Cecil Beaton

Alice B. Toklas And Gertrude Stein, 1936

Cecil Beaton

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Mrs Mona Williams, 1936 by Cecil Beaton

Mrs Mona Williams, 1936

Cecil Beaton

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Mary Oakes and Mary Gosgrave for ‘Vogue’, 1936

Cecil Beaton

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Vicomtesse De Noailles At The Ruins Of The Paris Exposition, 1938 by Cecil Beaton

Vicomtesse De Noailles At The Ruins Of The Paris Exposition, 1938

Cecil Beaton

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Jean Patchett Against Cutout Backdrop, For ‘Vogue’, 1949 by Cecil Beaton

Jean Patchett Against Cutout Backdrop, For ‘Vogue’, 1949

Cecil Beaton

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Carmen Dell’Orefice With Cutout Backdrop, For ‘Vogue’, 1949 by Cecil Beaton

Carmen Dell’Orefice With Cutout Backdrop, For ‘Vogue’, 1949

Cecil Beaton

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Jean Patchett, For ‘Vogue’, 1949 by Cecil Beaton

Jean Patchett, For ‘Vogue’, 1949

Cecil Beaton

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Guests At Carlos De Bestegui’s Ball, 1951 by Cecil Beaton

Guests At Carlos De Bestegui’s Ball, 1951

Cecil Beaton

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Her Majesty The Queen, Variation On The Official Coronation Portrait, 1953 by Cecil Beaton

Her Majesty The Queen, Variation On The Official Coronation Portrait, 1953

Cecil Beaton

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Nancy James Modelling One Of Her Husband’s Creations, 1955 by Cecil Beaton

Nancy James Modelling One Of Her Husband’s Creations, 1955

Cecil Beaton

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Coco Chanel, Paris, 1965 by Cecil Beaton

Coco Chanel, Paris, 1965

Cecil Beaton

Cecil Beaton | Exhibition Walk Through

Trace Beaton's career from his early experimental photographs in the 1920s through to fashion and portrait work in the 1940s and 1950s.