Cecil Beaton (1904 – 1980) was a British Photographer, interior designer and stage designer.
The house he occupied until 1945 at Ashcombe, Wiltshire, near friend Edith Olivier was decorated with limited funds using exaggerated baroque furniture. The walls of the ‘Circus Bedroom’ were painted by visiting artist friends, including Rex Whistler and Oliver Messel, in a kind of Surrealistic overstatement.
He published The Book of Beauty (1930) and memoirs in a Scrapbook (1937); during the 1930s, he worked for Conde Naste, publishers of Vogue and Vanity Fair.
During World War 2, he was a war photographer for the British Ministry of Information, working in Africa and India.
In his later years, Beaton rented for a short time each year a suite at the St Regis Hotel, New York, which he decorated, and Vogue published the results. He designed the sets and costumes for Gigi (19159) and My Fair lady (1965), winning academy awards. Active as a set designer, he was assisted from the late 1940s by Martin Battersby and others.
Appointed a Commander of the British Empire in 1957, Received the Légion d’Honneur in 1960.
Sample of works
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