by Cecil Beaton
bromide print, July 1962
9 3/8 in. x 7 4/8 in. (239 mm x 190 mm)
Accepted in lieu of tax by H.M. Government and allocated to the Gallery, 1991
Artistback to top
- Cecil Beaton (1904-1980), Photographer, designer and writer. Artist associated with 1105 portraits, Sitter associated with 357 portraits.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Clerk, Honor, The Sitwells, 1994 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 14 October - 22 January 1995), p. 158 Read entry
Edith posed in four different hats for Beaton's last photographic session, at Edith's penultimate home, Flat 42, Greenhill, Hampstead. The photographs were used in connection with her 75th birthday celebrations and, at her insistence, to promote The Queens and the Hive, published in August. 'It is such a comfort', she wrote to Beaton, 'not to appear as a cross between a turkey that has been insufficiently fattened, up for Christmas and an escapee from Broadmoor.'1
1 Quoted in H. Vickers, Cecil Beaton, 1985, p 457.
Placesback to top
- Place made and portrayed: United Kingdom: England, London (sitter's home, Hampstead, London)
Events of 1962back to top
Current affairsAfter a series of by-election defeats, the prime minister, Harold MacMillan organises a drastic cabinet reshuffle, dismissing one third of his cabinet. Liberal MP Jeremy Thorpe's rye comment summed up the desperate action: 'greater love hath no man than this, than to lay down his friends for his life.'
Britain suffers the 'Big Freeze' with no frost-free nights between 22nd December 1962 and 5th March 1963.
Art and scienceThe Beatles have their first hit with Love Me Do and release their first album Please Please Me.
The new Coventry Cathedral is consecrated and creates a showcase for British artistic talent with the first performance of Benjamin Britten's War Requiem, a wall hanging by Graham Sutherland, stained glass by John Piper, and sculptures by Jacob Epstein and Elizabeth Frink.