Papers of Sir Cecil Beaton

Scope and Content

Includes correspondence, diaries, notebooks, typescripts and one photograph.

Administrative / Biographical History

Photographer, artist, writer, and designer of scenery and costumes. Educated at Harrow and St John's College, Cambridge, 1922-5. Made his name as a photographer through portraits of the Sitwells. Employed by Vogue in London and New York. Published 'The Book of Beauty' (1930). Photographed the Duke of Windsor's wedding, 1937. War photographer, 1939-45. Designed 'Lady Windermere's Fan', 1945. Designed costumes for 'An Ideal Husband' and 'Anna Karenina', 1948. Worked on 'The School for Scandal', 1949, 'Quadrille' for Noel Coward, 1952, 'Turandot', 1961, and 'La Traviata', 1966. Designed costumes for 'My Fair Lady', 1956, and for the film version in Hollywood, 1963. His play 'The Gainsborough Girls', 1951 and 1959, was unsuccessful. Published 'The Glass of Fashion' (1954), and six volumes of diaries. Exhibited photographs at the National Portrait Gallery, 1968. Knighted 1972.

Conditions Governing Access

Access to some of the diaries is restricted.

Acquisition Information

Presented to the College by Beaton's literary executors, 1986.

Note

Photographer, artist, writer, and designer of scenery and costumes. Educated at Harrow and St John's College, Cambridge, 1922-5. Made his name as a photographer through portraits of the Sitwells. Employed by Vogue in London and New York. Published 'The Book of Beauty' (1930). Photographed the Duke of Windsor's wedding, 1937. War photographer, 1939-45. Designed 'Lady Windermere's Fan', 1945. Designed costumes for 'An Ideal Husband' and 'Anna Karenina', 1948. Worked on 'The School for Scandal', 1949, 'Quadrille' for Noel Coward, 1952, 'Turandot', 1961, and 'La Traviata', 1966. Designed costumes for 'My Fair Lady', 1956, and for the film version in Hollywood, 1963. His play 'The Gainsborough Girls', 1951 and 1959, was unsuccessful. Published 'The Glass of Fashion' (1954), and six volumes of diaries. Exhibited photographs at the National Portrait Gallery, 1968. Knighted 1972.

Preferred citation: St John's College Library, Papers of Sir Cecil Beaton

Archivist's Note

31 Jul 2017

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright in Beaton's work rests with his literary executors.

Additional Information

Published