Exhibition

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Our Spring 2020 exhibition explored the extravagant world of the glamorous and stylish ‘Bright Young Things’ of the twenties and thirties, seen through the eye of renowned British photographer Cecil Beaton.  It brought to life a deliriously eccentric, glamorous and creative era of British cultural life, combining High Society and the avant-garde, artists and writers, socialites and partygoers.

Featuring the leading cast of the ‘Bright Young Things’, many of whom Beaton would call friends – Anna May Wong, Oliver Messel and Stephen Tennant among others, this show charted Beaton’s transformation from middle-class suburban schoolboy to glittering society figure and the unrivalled star of Vogue.

This exhibition ran from the 12 March 2020 until the Gallery’s Covid-19 related closure on 17 March.

Download the large print guide


Curator Films

Discover the exhibition from the comfort of your own home with curator Robin Muir.

Introduction

Curtain Raisers

Society at Play

Denouement

 


Catalogue

Catalogue

This book celebrates portraits by renowned British photographer Cecil Beaton of the ‘Bright Young Things’ who flourished between the two World Wars. Featuring a glittering procession of celebrities, socialites and bohemian artists, captured with Beaton’s inimitable elegance it brings to life a deliriously eccentric, glamorous and creative era of British cultural life.

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Shop the Range

Shop Beaton

Discover our Beaton inspired range.

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Photography Competition

Selected from over 1,000 entries, here are the winners of the Cecil Beaton’s Bright Young Things Photography Competition.

Taking inspiration from Beaton’s photography, the competition asked for portraits inspired by the following themes: costume and masquerade; fashion; props, performance and self-portraiture.

The competition was open to everyone and judged in 3 categories: schools, under 25’s and 25 and over. The judges were Robin Muir, curator of the Gallery’s exhibition Cecil Beaton’s Bright Young Things and contemporary photographer Tim Walker. Hear more from the judge’s by clicking on the winning works.

Congratulations to the winners.


25 and Over

Jamie Coreth

1st place
by Jamie Coreth

kiss of the femme fatal

2nd place
by KK Eye and Adam Espira

Inasis

3rd place
by Nicolas Tath


Under 25s

k.kierkegaard

1st place
by Keren Kierkegaard

Cecil Beaton - Ghost Town

2nd place
Cecil Beaton - Ghost Town
by Lucia

Trying Hard to Look Like Gary Cooper

3rd place
'Trying Hard to Look Like Gary Cooper'
by Tobin


Schools

Gateway by Ryder

1st place
Gateway
by Ryder

A Step Back in Time #3 by Sophie

2nd place
A Step Back in Time #3
by Sophie

Monochrome in a Monotone World by Charlotte

3rd place
Monochrome in a Monotone World
by Charlotte


Spring Season 2020 sponsored by

Herbert Smith Freehills

 

Exhibition supported by

Noel Coward Foundation

Peter Cadbury Charitable Trust


 

Additional support from

Beaton studios

Sotheby's


Media Partner

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