Beaton, Sir Cecil

Beaton, Sir Cecil

▪ British photographer and costume and production designer
in full  Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton 
born January 14, 1904, London, England
died January 18, 1980, Broadchalke, Salisbury, Wiltshire

      photographer known primarily for his portraits of celebrated persons, who also worked as an illustrator, a diarist, and an Academy Award-winning costume and set designer.

      Beaton's interest in photography began when, as a young boy, he admired portraits of society women and actresses circulated on picture postcards and in Sunday supplements of newspapers. When he got his first camera at age 11, his nurse taught him how to use it and how to process negatives and prints. He costumed and posed his sisters in an attempt to re-create the popular portraits that he loved.

      In the 1920s Beaton became a staff photographer for Vanity Fair and Vogue magazines. He developed a style of portraiture in which the sitter became merely one element of an overall decorative pattern, which was dominated by backgrounds made of unusual materials such as aluminum foil or papier-mâché. The results, which combined art and artifice, were alternately exquisite, exotic, or bizarre, but always chic. Many of these portraits are gathered in his books The Book of Beauty (1930), Persona Grata (1953, with Kenneth Tynan), and It Gives Me Great Pleasure (1953).

      During World War II, Beaton served in the British Ministry of Information, covering the fighting in Africa and East Asia. His wartime photographs of the siege of Britain were published in the book Winged Squadrons (1942). After the war Beaton resumed portrait photography, but his style became much less flamboyant. He also broadened his activities, designing costumes and sets for theatre and film. He won Academy Awards for his costume design in Gigi (1958) and for both his costume design and his art direction in My Fair Lady (1964). Several volumes of his diaries, which appeared in the 1960s and '70s, were summarized in Self Portrait with Friends: The Selected Diaries of Cecil Beaton, 1926–1974 (1979). Beaton was knighted in 1972.

Additional Reading
Hugo Vickers, Cecil Beaton: A Biography (also published as Cecil Beaton: The Authorized Biography; 1985); James Danzinger (ed.), Beaton (1980, reissued 1986).

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Beaton, Sir Cecil (Walter Hardy) — born Jan. 14, 1904, London, Eng. died Jan. 18, 1980, Broadchalke, Salisbury, Wiltshire British photographer and designer. When he received his first camera at age 11, he began making portraits of his sisters. In the 1920s he became staff… …   Universalium

  • Beaton, Sir Cecil (Walter Hardy) — (14 ene. 1904, Londres, Inglaterra–18 ene. 1980, Broadchalke, Salisbury, Wiltshire). Fotógrafo y diseñador británico. Cuando recibió su primera cámara a la edad de 11 años, comenzó a retratar a sus hermanas. En la década de 1920 trabajó como… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton — Cecil Beaton Cet article fait partie de la série Photographie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cecil — Cecil, William, barón de Burghley * * * (as used in expressions) Lawrence Cecil Adler Beaton, Sir Cecil (Walter Hardy) Cecil, Robert, 1 conde de Salisbury Cecil, William, 1 barón de Burghley Day Lewis, C(ecil) DeMille, Cecil B(lount) Forester,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Cecil — /ses euhl, sis / or, for 5, /see seuhl/, n. 1. (Edgar Algernon) Robert (1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood), 1864 1958, British statesman: Nobel peace prize 1937. 2. Robert (1st Earl of Salisbury and 1st Viscount Cecil of Cranborne), 1563 1612,… …   Universalium

  • sir — /serr/, n. 1. a respectful or formal term of address used to a man: No, sir. 2. (cap.) the distinctive title of a knight or baronet: Sir Walter Scott. 3. (cap.) a title of respect for some notable personage of ancient times: Sir Pandarus of Troy …   Universalium

  • sir — (Voz inglesa.) ► sustantivo masculino Tratamiento honorífico empleado por los británicos. * * * sir (ingl.; pronunc. [ser]) m. *Tratamiento de respeto usado en Inglaterra delante de un nombre de hombre o para dirigirse a la persona de que se… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Cecil Beaton — Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton (14 January 1904 ndash; 18 January 1980) was an English fashion and portrait photographer and an Academy Award winning stage and costume designer for films and the theatre. BiographyBeaton was born in Hampstead the… …   Wikipedia

  • Cecil Beaton — Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton (14 janvier 1904 18 janvier 1980, Londres) était un photographe de mode et de portrait britannique. Il fut également scénographe et concepteur de costumes pour le cinéma et le théâtre. Cecil Beaton se fait connaître… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton — Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton (* 14. Januar 1904 in London; † 18. Januar 1980 in Broadchalke, England) war ein Fotograf, Bühnenbildner und Grafiker. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werk 3 Li …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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