Cecil Beaton (British 1904-1980)
Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton CBE, English fashion, portrait and war photographer, painter, writer, interior designer and stage & costume designer for films and theatre. Beaton attended Harrow School, St. Johns College, Cambridge and studied history, art and architecture. Beaton continued his photography, and through his university contacts managed to get a portrait published in Vogue.
After leaving university in 1925, Cecil Beaton worked as an office employee in his father’s timber business, but he decided to strike out on his own. Under the patronage of Osbert Sitwell, he put on his first exhibition in the Cooling Gallery, London, 1927.
Cecil Beaton left for New York in the early 1930’s and slowly built up a reputation there. He had gained “a contract with Condé Naste Publications’ to take photographs exclusively for them. His contract ended in 1938. The Queen recommended him to the Ministry of Information. He became one of Britain’s leading war photographers, best known for his images of the damage done by the German blitz.
In the 1950s Beaton was still in demand for his portraitures of the rich & famous including film stars artists, royalty etc. Beaton also used his talents in stage and dress design, the most famous being ‘My Fair Lady’. Beaton died from a heart attack after suffering ill health from a previous stroke.