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Cecil Beaton
Self Portrait
Cecil Beaton
Cecil Beaton

Cecil Beaton

Country: United Kingdom
Birth: 1904 | Death: 1980

Born in 1904 in London and coming of age at the peak of the 20's, Cecil Beaton was in love with the worlds of high society, theater, and glamour. Beauty in his hands was transformed into elegance, fantasy, romance, and charm. His inspired amateurism led to a following among fashionable debutantes and eventually a full fledged career as the foremost fashion and portrait photographer of his day. He was so attunded to the changes of fashion that his career maintained its momentum for five decades; from the Sitwells to the Rolling Stones. Beaton died in 1980.

Source: Staley-Wise Gallery


Sir Cecil Beaton, in full Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton, photographer known primarily for his portraits of celebrated persons, who also worked as an illustrator, a diarist, and an Academy Award-winning costume and set designer. Beaton’s interest in photography began when, as a young boy, he admired portraits of society women and actresses circulated on picture postcards and in Sunday supplements of newspapers. When he got his first camera at age 11, his nurse taught him how to use it and how to process negatives and prints. He costumed and posed his sisters in an attempt to re-create the popular portraits that he loved.

In the 1920s Beaton became a staff photographer for Vanity Fair and Vogue magazines. He developed a style of portraiture in which the sitter became merely one element of an overall decorative pattern, which was dominated by backgrounds made of unusual materials such as aluminum foil or papier-mâché. The results, which combined art and artifice, were alternately exquisite, exotic, or bizarre, but always chic. Many of these portraits are gathered in his books The Book of Beauty (1930), Persona Grata (1953, with Kenneth Tynan), and It Gives Me Great Pleasure (1953).

During World War II, Beaton served in the British Ministry of Information, covering the fighting in Africa and East Asia. His wartime photographs of the siege of Britain were published in the book Winged Squadrons (1942). After the war Beaton resumed portrait photography, but his style became much less flamboyant. He also broadened his activities, designing costumes and sets for theatre and film. He won Academy Awards for his costume design in Gigi (1958) and for both his costume design and his art direction in My Fair Lady (1964). Several volumes of his diaries, which appeared in the 1960s and ’70s, were summarized in Self Portrait with Friends: The Selected Diaries of Cecil Beaton, 1926–1974 (1979). Beaton was knighted in 1972.

Source: www.britannica.com


© All photographs wer scanned and released by the Imperial War Museum on the IWM Non Commercial Licence. The work was created by Cecil Beaton during his service for the Ministry of Information during the Second World War as an official photographer of the Home Front.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Rogan Coles
South Africa/United Kingdom
1954
I was born in 1954. Photography is what I do. The stories lie therein. In presenting this body of work I want to explore something that is often overlooked - as in the intrinsic value of photography. As one of his mantras, Jack Ma, the founder and now former CEO of Alibaba and a person whose tenacity I admire, said this, "I always look 10 years ahead". While I'm not going to suggested that this is what I do with my photography or when I am about to embark on a project. But and quite often, there's something prescient in what I do and how I approach my work as a photographer. When I set out to document Smithfield Market in London, this is more or less what happened. Besides all the talk of closing down the market, there were suggestions that the market was going to be refurbished and, in the process, brought up to European Union health standards. At around this time, I used to take a short cut through the market's precinct as I walked from one side of the city to the other. Of course, during the day, there was nothing there. Well, let me qualify, there were no people there. Working hours were from just around midnight until the early hours of the morning. With these various stories doing the rounds, I wanted to investigate. In the process I made contact with the market's management. As a result, I was granted to two week window to document the market and the activities there. This was back in April of 1991. Yes, nearly 30 years ago. This is what I mean, the "intrinsic value of photography". I don't know what these images are worth. I have never exhibited them or ever had them published in any form. No real reason. Then as now, perhaps I didn't have a compelling enough story that publications or curators could buy into. "Intrinsic value" is not going to see this work through to anything significant. Perhaps something like "British working class heroes", "End of an era" or "Times are a changing" may have done it. But, we live on in hope. I have long admired photography of Vivien Maier and see her work in much the same way - and that is, for its intrinsic value. Through her work, Maier more or less defined the Chicago of a particular era. Another photographer's work who I much admire is Max Yavno. Again, the strength of his work lies in its intrinsic value. Through his work, he more or less defined Los Angeles and San Francisco of an era and, to some degree, Cairo. His work is iconic - just as is Maier's.
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Stanley has received numerous grants and recognitions including - the Lifetime Achievement Visa d’Or Award (2016), the Aftermath Project Grant (2013), the Prix International Planète Albert Kahn (2011), W. Eugene Smith Award (2004), the Alicia Patterson Fellowship (1998) and five World Press Photo awards. Stanley presented the Sem Presser keynote lecture at the 2017 World Press Photo Award Festival. Stanley Greene is a founding member of NOOR. Stanley passed away in Paris, France on May 19th, 2017. Source: NOOR Greene was born to middle class parents in Brooklyn. Both his parents were actors. His father, who was born in Harlem, was a union organizer, one of the first African Americans elected as an officer in the Screen Actors Guild, and belonged to the Harlem Renaissance movement. Greene's father was blacklisted as a Communist in the 1950s and forced to take uncredited parts in movies. Greene's parents gave him his first camera when he was eleven years old. Greene began his art career as a painter, but started taking photos as a means of cataloging material for his paintings. In 1971, when Greene was a member of the anti-war movement and the Black Panthers, his friend, photographer W. Eugene Smith offered him space in his studio and encouraged him to study photography at the School of Visual Arts in New York and the San Francisco Art Institute. Greene held various jobs as a photographer, including taking pictures of rock bands and working at Newsday. In 1986, he shot fashion in Paris. He called himself a "dilettante, sitting in cafes, taking pictures of girls and doing heroin". After a friend died of AIDS, Greene kicked his drug habit and began to seriously pursue a photography career. He began photojournalism in 1989, when his image ("Kisses to All, Berlin Wall") of a tutu-clad girl with a champagne bottle became a symbol of the fall of the Berlin Wall. While working for the Paris-based photo agency Agence Vu in October 1993, Greene was trapped and almost killed in the White House in Moscow during a coup attempt against President Boris Yeltsin. He has covered the war-torn countries Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iraq, Somalia, Croatia, Kashmir, and Lebanon. He has taken pictures of the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 and the US Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Since 1994, Greene is best known for his documentation of the conflict in Chechnya, between rebels and the Russian armed forces, which was compiled in his 2004 book, Open Wound. These photos have drawn attention to the "suffering that has marked the latest surge in Chechnya's centuries-long struggle for independence from Russia". In 2008, Greene revealed that he had hepatitis C, which he believed he had contracted from a contaminated razor while working in Chad in 2007. 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