Cecil Beaton(1904-1980), Photographer, designer and writer
Sitter associated with 361 portraits
Artist associated with 1111 portraits
Cecil Beaton was one of the leading British photographers of the twentieth century. Beaton's early studio portraits of debutantes and celebrities often involved elaborate theatrical backdrops, and helped define the image of the 'Bright young thing'. Beaton was also an acclaimed designer for film and the stage, including My Fair Lady (1956), the musical based on George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion. He won three Oscars for costume and art direction for the film version of My Fair Lady (1965) and for Gigi (1958). A major retrospective of Beaton's portraits in 1968 was the first exhibition the National Portrait Gallery had devoted to a photographer.
More on Beaton: Cecil Beaton's Bright Young Things
by Cecil Beaton
bromide print, 1931
Listen to a series of podcasts exploring the lives of pioneering women, past and present.
William Eggleston was closely associated with the alternative music scene in Memphis. Revisit our 2016 exhibition and listen to a special playlist.
Links to audio and transcripts of interviews with artists, sitters and historic recordings.
- Cecil Beaton Drawings
- Learn more
- Handlist of names in the Reference Collection
- Photographic holdings - print and negative collections
- In Close Up: Laurence Olivier
- Women Poets and Photography, 1860–1970
- Centenaries and Centenarians
- Britain 1960-1990
- The Royal Ballet at 75
- The World's Most Photographed
- Bill Brandt: Portraits 1982