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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.
Discover the exhibition from the comfort of your own home with curator Robin Muir.
Society at Play
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.Buy now
Discover our Beaton inspired range.Take a look
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.