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Artifice as resistance
John Potvin

I would like to live in scenery. Cecil Beaton CELEBRATED PHOTOGRAPHER, diarist and stage and costume designer Cecil Beaton (1904–1980) was consumed by other peoples’ interiors, the way they lived and the manner through which they staged the spaces of their notoriety and creative work. Unlike most of the subjects of this book, in which friends, colleagues and even at times foes provided the evidence of the descriptive interiors, Beaton often reversed the order entirely, describing at length the domestic spaces of influential figures of the early twentieth

in Bachelors of a different sort
Author: John Potvin

This book carefully considers the myriad and complex relationships between queer male masculinity and interior design, material culture and aesthetics in Britain between 1885 and 1957 - that is bachelors of a different sort - through rich, well-chosen case studies. It pays close attention to particular homes and domestic interiors of Lord Ronald Gower, Alfred Taylor, Oscar Wilde, Charles Shannon and Charles Ricketts, Edward Perry Warren and John Marshall, Sir Cedric Morris and Arthur Lett-Haines, Noel Coward and Cecil Beaton. The book underscores the discursive history and conceptual parameters of the bachelor as these collided with queer sexualities through social and cultural perceptions. It focuses on the seven deadly sins of the modern bachelor: queerness, idolatry, decadence, askesis, decoration, glamour, and finally, artifice. The seven deadly sins of the modern bachelor comprise a contested site freighted with contradiction, vacillating between and revealing the fraught and distinctly queer twining of shame and resistance. Together the furniture and collections that filled Gower's Windsor home compel us to search out the narratives that bric-a-brac at once enliven and expose well beyond the shadows of the endless and meaningless accumulation that late Victorians were said to been have afflicted by.

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Anna Dahlgren

Edward Steichen, Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn and Richard Avedon, among the most famous.3 However, historically most of the photographs initially produced for advertising or fashion spreads have been less acknowledged, and less collected and preserved by art institutions, museums and photographers alike.4 Although the question about whether fashion and fashion photography is art has been debated since the early twentieth century the understanding of fashion photography as foremost an instrumental, lightweight and commercially driven type of image production was still

in Travelling images
Amy Helen Bell

publication of photographs of bomb damage in London was strictly regulated. Carefully composed photographs of ruins were used as propaganda to depict the destruction of individual historical landmarks, whose very singularity emphasized continued national survival and the cultural barbarity of the enemy. Society photographer Cecil Beaton published a collection of photographs of ruined London buildings in 1941 which displayed the ‘grandeur, tragedy and the strange vitality of wreckage’.70 His photographs were part of a wartime Gothic genre whose visual iconography of ruined

in Murder Capital
The General Strike and Britishness
Rachelle Hope Saltzman

to the inevitable Gilbert and Sullivan choruses. Everybody was excited to be playing trams in such a new way [. . .] The cheery come-andgo was stimulating, and at the same time I was a workman doing a foolproof job . . . I was a potato at peace’ (Williams, 1976: 388–9). Besides noting their own and their friends’ automatic responses, still others commented on the social function such crises served. In his memoir entry for 4 May 1926, photographer Cecil Beaton observed, ‘people felt important for being a part of the general crisis. Apart from the many pedestrians, a

in A lark for the sake of their country
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James Whidden

facts’. 138 The photographer Cecil Beaton was sent out to Egypt in April 1942 and attended a reception for the duke of Gloucester at the embassy, where flags were waved and a brass band played ‘God Save the King’. Representatives of the colony arrayed themselves in shantung and ducks. As Beaton said, ‘This was more what I imagined happened in India than Egypt.’ The garden, river, and the country

in Egypt
Words for Battle and Listen to Britain
Keith Beattie

’s photograph, ‘St Paul’s Cathedral in the Moonlight’ (1940), which features the cathe­ dral in stark silhouette against rubble in the foreground, Cecil Beaton’s image of smoke encircling the cathedral’s bell towers after an incen­ diary raid on London on 29 December 1940, and George Rodger’s deep-focus photograph of Fleet Street with a news seller in the fore­ ground (‘Latest From All Battlefronts’) and St Paul’s aloof and stately in the background.40 In each of these images St Paul’s is deployed as an indication of the damage inflicted by the enemy, and via its ‘eternal

in Humphrey Jennings
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Belief and agency in wartime
Lucy Noakes

flew with childhood teddy bears, medallions, dolls, badges and female underwear, all of which served as a link with their life on the ground. Cecil Beaton noted that aircrew avoided the word ‘goodbye,’ and the crews of Lancaster bombers in 50 Squadron had a shared ritual of listening to an Andrews Sisters song in the mess before a mission.33 One man always urinated on the wheels of his plane before take-off.34 Members of the most self-consciously ‘modern’ of the military services, reliant on technology, skill and training for their survival, the men of the air force

in Dying for the nation
Society gossip, homosexuality and the logic of revelation in the interwar popular press
Ryan Linkof

in the 1920s and 1930s has much to tell the historian – even if obliquely and unwittingly – about the lives of a certain privileged class of homosexual men in interwar Britain. These columns communicated surprising amounts of information about the social activities of notable homosexual men. Figures such as Cecil Beaton, Ivor Novello, Stephen Tennant and Rex Whistler – in part because many of them were friends with gossip writers – became standard figures in gossip columns. When he began writing gossip for the ‘Talk of London’ column in the Daily Express

in British queer history
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Felicity Chaplin

century, contemporaneously with her status as the image of both French and global femininity. The spectacle of modern life in Gigi Vincente Minnelli’s Hollywood musical Gigi (1958), shot both on tions in Paris and in the studio for MGM, demonstrates the loca­­­­ association of Paris and la Parisienne with fashion through its use of MUP_Chaplin_Printer1.indd 82 21/05/2017 18:30 icon of fashion 83 setting and period costumes designed by Cecil Beaton, who also served as production designer. The film, based loosely on Colette’s novella, tells the story of a young girl

in La Parisienne in cinema