14th January 1904 - Cecil Beaton is born

Cecil Beaton Self PortraitThe photographer Cecil Beaton was born on January 14, 1904.

He was born in Hampstead in London[1], but lived for much of his life in Wiltshire.

He rented Ashcombe House near Berwick St John in 1930 until the landlord terminated his lease in 1945. He bought Reddish House in Broadchalke in 1948 and lived there until he died in 1980.

Beaton was primarily a portrait photographer. There were three strands to his work - celebrities, Royal photography and war photographs[2].

He was friendly with various notable figures in the area - his social circle locally included Clarissa Churchill (niece of Winston and wife of Prime Minister Eden), Edith Olivier, Stephen Tennant, Rex Whistler and Augustus John[3].

411px-Elizabeth_and_Philip_1953.jpg Commander_Romer_Art.IWMART15241.jpg Cecil_Beaton_Photographs-_Political_and_Military_Personalities;_Fawzieh,_Queen_of_Iran_CBM2401.jpg

Bengali Girls School Wavell, Archibald Percival Pipe Down for Make and Mend Art Commander Romer Life at Sea on Board HMS Alcantara, March 1942

Image credits

The portrait at the top of the page is a ‘selfie’ by ‘Old Cecil’ himself - Cecil Beaton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The picture of the Queen of Iran is by Cecil Beaton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The picture of the little girl during the Blitz is by Cecil Beaton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The picture of the Bangladeshi girls school is by Cecil Beaton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The picture of General Wavell is by Cecil Beaton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons The drawing of life in the Navy is by Cecil Beaton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The drawing of Commander Romer is by Cecil Beaton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The photo of the salior and the sewing machine is by Cecil Beaton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The portrait of Elizabeth and Philip is by Cecil Beaton [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Footnotes

[1] I’m not sure that at the time of Beaton’s birth whether you wouldn’t have said Hampstead near London

[2] I’d love to include more examples of each here, but most of them are still copyrighted

[3] Hugo Vickers, ‘Beaton, Sir Cecil Walter Hardy (1904–1980)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Oct 2008 [Link: Oxford DNB article: Beaton, Sir Cecil Walter Hardy, accessed 13 Jan 2014]

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