Cecile Beaton (English, 1904-1980)

Beaton was a highly accomplished fashion, war, and portrait photographer whose photos were rooted in whimsy and beauty. When Beaton was twelve, he acquired a Kodak 3A camera which sparked his interest in photography. He attended St. John’s College, where he studied architecture, art, and history. Beyond the technicality of photography, Beaton focused on the subjects and staging around them, stating, “in photography, I do not believe in taking people as they are.”

Beaton’s photograph of Redgrave plays to the actor’s theatricality and stage presence. He photographed for Vogue for over five decades and built a clientele of the Hollywood elite. Beaton subverted British ideas of masculinity with his work that showcased the grandeur and exploration of visual culture in the twentieth century.