Cecil Beaton: Photographs 1920-1970

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9781556704338: Cecil Beaton: Photographs 1920-1970

Cecil Beaton (1904-1980) was a tirelessly busy man whose career included theater and film design, writing, arbitrating taste to London's High Bohemia, and gardening in his country estate. However, it was as a photographer that Beaton achieved immortality. This opulently produced monograph is the first comprehensive presentation of his work. 265 duotone & color photos.

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From Library Journal:

Though Beaton is fixed in the public's mind as perhaps the last true dandy, a position cultivated by Beaton himself, the authors here strive to secure for him the more productive reputation of major photographer. But Garner, Sotheby's London director in charge of decorative arts and photography, has wisely not attempted to subdue Beaton's preoccupations with artifice, beauty, social status, and his own self-construction in the process. The pages are liberally laced with telling quotes from Beaton's copious writings, the reproductions of Beaton's photographs are large and lush, and images of Beaton by leading photographers illustrate the two essays. The essays themselves take a more conservative approach. Mellor (history of art, Univ. of Sussex, England) traces Beaton's life and the progression of his career as art photographer, social and royal portraitist, and fashion photographer; Garner concentrates on the work for Vogue. While this reviewer is not convinced of Beaton's place at the forefront of 20th-century imagemakers, this book well proves his ability to remain fresh over such a long career and the ways that that career at least mirrored major movements in 20th-century photography. Likely to be the best treatment of his work, this book belongs in larger photography collections as a complement to Hugo Vicker's biography, Cecil Beaton (LJ 9/15/86).
Eric Bryant, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Born in 1904 to a London timber merchant, Cecil Beaton transformed society and fashion photography from a realm of idealized beauty and artifice. The globe-hopping Vogue and Harper's Bazaar photographer, who died in 1980, created, with eclectic abandon, a vernacular of novel imagery that combined surrealistic settings inspired by Dali and De Chirico, neo-Romantic flourishes, baroque interiors and witty variations on fashion themes. From diverse influences?Virginia Woolf's Orlando, Pirandello's plays, modernist photography?Beaton took a sense of multiple identities, unstable gender and playful metafictionality. A remarkable compilation of images, this album includes shots of Picasso, Marlene Dietrich, David Hockney, Colette, Jean Cocteau, Johnny Weissmuller, Rudolf Nureyev, Lillian Gish and Marilyn Monroe. In their sensitive essay, British art historian Mellor and Sotheby's, London senior director Garner observe that Beaton was also capable of satirical grotesques, an observation born out in photographs of Augustus John, Mick Jagger and Dali.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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