STOPPED BY THIS BRILLIANT EXHIBIT THE OTHER DAY AND COULDN’T HELP BUT BE IN AWE! IF YOU’RE A DIEHARD FASHIONISTA/FASHIONISTO THEN YOU MUST STOP BY. THE SHOW IS COMPRISED OF ALL OF CECIL BEATON’S WORKS—HIS CELEBRITY PORTRAITS, COSTUMES, AND MAGAZINE COVERS—ALL ARE MEANT TO BE JUST AS SEEN AND HEARD LIKE HIS LARGER-THAN-LIFE PERSONALITY. ALSO WITHIN THE EXHIBIT ARE ORIGINAL VOGUES FROM AS EARLY AS THE 1930S WITH ALL OF BEATON’S INFLUENCES. I QUICKLY WHIPPED UP THIS COLLAGE SO YOU CAN SEE WHAT I MEAN. CAN YOU GUESS WHO ARE IN THE PICTURES?
“From the 1920s through the 1960s, New York’s cultural and social elites embraced British-born Cecil Beaton–photographer, designer, and notorious man-about-town. Beaton’s fashion photograph’s dominated the pages of Vogue in the 1930s. Cultural icons from Greta Garbo (with whom he had one of his few heterosexual relationships) to Marilyn Monroe, Truman Capote, Andy Warhol, and Mick Jagger had their portraits taken by him. Beaton designed ballets for George Balanchine, operas like La Traviata for the Metropolitan Opera, and Broadway shows, most famously My Fair Lady in 1956. Totally engaged with celebrity, Beaton himself became one, carefully honing his image, authoring books of his own work, and publishing six volumes of his gossipy diaries. Beaton’s cultural cachet was enhanced by his highly cultivated Old World style and manners. An Edwardian-era dandy in the mold of Oscar Wilde, Beaton wore custom-tailored suits and spoke in exaggerated accent, announcing that he loved New York because it was so ‘eggs-ill-ahh-rating!’
Although born to a middle-class family, the son of a timber merchant, as an undergraduate at the university of Cambridge Beaton quickly made a name for himself as a member of what the British press called the ‘Bright Young People’–a network of Jazz Age aristocrats, dilettantes, and authors who challenged the established mores of British society. Beaton’s talents and ambition soon catapulted him onto a wider stage. He designed costumes for society parties, contributed art and articles to popular magazines, and by 1927, looked beyond London to win what he called ‘the pot of gold on the other side of the Atlantic.’
In late 1928 Beaton sailed into New York Harbor. Over the next fifty years, with England serving as his home base and his personal interests and professional assignments taking him to places from Paris to Hollywood, India, and Japan, Beaton made New York City a home away from home. In 1969 the Museum of the City of New York honored him with a retrospective exhibition, which served as a culmination of his extraordinary career. As that show underscored, Beaton consciously shaped his artistic persona by blurring the lines between art and commerce, self and subject–and approach that more than four decades later makes him still remarkable contemporary.”
- Written by The Museum of the City of New York