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Cecil Beaton
Dates: British, 1904 - 1980
Biographical Account:

Cecil Beaton was a photographer and scenographer.

 

He was born on 14 January 1904 in Hampstead, LondonAt an early age he had an interest in photography, and was taught by his Nanny with a Kodak 3A camera. She taught him the basics of photography and developing film. He would often get his sisters and mother to sit for him.

 

Beaton went to Harrow and then moved on to St John's College Cambridge where he studied history, art and architecture, despite having no interest in academia.

 

His talent as a photographer was quickly recognised and he became the photographer for Vogue, Vanity Fair, photographing the high society and royalty.

 

During the Second World War, Beaton was assigned by the Ministry of Information to recording images from the home front.

 

In 1972 he was knighted, but shortly after he suffered a stroke that left the right side of his body permanently paralysed. Although he was still able to carry on with his photography, having his cameras specially adapted, he became increasingly frustrated by the restraints the stroke had put upon his work.

 

He died on18 January 1980, aged 76, at his home ‘Reddish House’, Broad Chalke in Wiltshire.
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