Beaton: Be Daring

Makedo Moveable Cutout, via flickr Urban Woodswalker CC
Makedo Moveable Cutout, via flickr Urban Woodswalker CC

Be daring,
Be different,
Be impractical,
Be anything that will assert
integrity of purpose and
imaginative vision
against
the play-it-safers,
the creatures of the commonplace,
the slaves of the ordinary.

–Cecil Beaton

via flickr CC, Chiara Abbate
via flickr CC, Chiara Abbate

This quote caught my eye and heart today as I was browsing around Pinterest.   I decided to create a blog post with it.  Since I had no idea who Cecil Beaton might be, I did a little investigation.  (Please note that I chose the photographs above BEFORE I did any research.  You’ll find out why that is relevant in the next sentence.)

Turns out, he was quite a fascinating man, a fashion designer and photographer, who was quite well-known in high society, fashion, and film.

He took many historical photographs for the United Kingdom as well.

A few of my favorites follow:

King Feisal of Iraq, photographed by Cecil Beaton  public domain
King Feisal of Iraq, photographed by Cecil Beaton public domain
In Iraq in 1942:  A pattern made by keffiyebs, native head-dresses, worn by Iraqi Levies seen from above.  by Cecil Beaton
In Iraq in 1942: A pattern made by keffiyebs, native head-dresses, worn by Iraqi Levies seen from above. by Cecil Beaton
Fawzieh Queen of Iran by Cecil Beaton
Fawzieh Queen of Iran by Cecil Beaton
RAF soldier, Western Desert 1942
RAF soldier, Western Desert 1942
China 1944: Two Chinese soldiers wearing gas masks at Pihu Military Training Centre in south eastern China.
China 1944: Two Chinese soldiers wearing gas masks at Pihu Military Training Centre in south eastern China.
Madame Sun Yat Sen, by Cecil Beaton public domain
Madame Sun Yat Sen, by Cecil Beaton public domain

Now a few Beaton images from the fashion and film worlds:

Cecil Beaton, Vintage Vogue 1935
Cecil Beaton, Vintage Vogue 1935
C.Z. Guest by Cecil Barton
C.Z. Guest by Cecil Barton Vogue 1953
Audrey Hepburn, by Cecil Beaton public domain
Audrey Hepburn in costume designed by Cecil Beaton
Elizabeth Taylor, by Cecil Beaton
Elizabeth Taylor, by Cecil Beaton

Sir Cecil Beaton was probably best known as a high fashion photographer.  “In the 1920s he became staff photographer for Vanity Fair and Vogue, where he developed a unique style of posing sitters with unusual backgrounds. He was also a diarist, interior designer, and Oscar-winning stage and costume designer.”

Beaton won the Tony for best costume design for My Fair Lady in 1957 and for Coco in 1970.  He won Academy Awards for costume design for Gigi in 1958 and My Fair Lady (as well as another for best art direction for this film) in 1964.

Greta Garbo, Vivien Leigh, Georgia O’Keeffe, Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe and many, many others captured by Sir Cecil during his lifetime.   See many of these photographs here — Cecil Beaton:  A Life in Pictures.  Marilyn images here.   Find out more about Cecil Beaton here.  Vogue remembers Beaton here.  Look at a book featuring his work, photographs and sketches here.    Find a Beaton biography by Thames and Hudson here.

What a journey!  I started out flipping around Pinterest, found a quote, looked for the source, dug a little deeper — then ended up looking at WWII era photographs, vintage Vogue images and fabulous Broadway and Hollywood glamour shots.  Thanks for sharing the journey with me.

Please Note:  The historical photographs were 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. In the UK, photographs taken in military service, or works of art created as part of military service, became controlled under the Crown Copyright provisions and so faithful reproductions may be reused under that licence, which is considered expired after 50 years.

More blog posts featuring Beaton photographs: http://thecreativesuitcase.blogspot.com/2011/08/cecil-beaton-la-esencia-del-lujo.html http://everyday-i-show.livejournal.com/169527.html http://visual-therapy.com/blog/inspiration-cecil-beaton/
See another blog post with more photographs here.

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Published by

quirkyjazz

I am a pianist, musician, music teacher, choir director, mother, wife, daughter, sister, cousin, sister-in-law, friend, neighbor. I enjoy music (of course!), quilting, sewing, beading, traveling, kayaking, camping, biking, hiking, gardening, knitting, scrapbooking, cooking, reading, poetry, drinking good coffee, and having fun with family and friends. NOTE -- Creative Commons License: All work of The Tromp Queen (quirkyjazz, aka Jill) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 Unported License.

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