Beaton, Cecil, 1904-1980

Alternative names
Birth 1904-01-14
Death 1980-01-18

Biographical notes:

Cecil Beaton, theatrical designer, won the 1960 Tony Award for costume design for his work on SARATOGA. He was also nominated for best scenic designer for the same production.

From the guide to the Costume designs for Saratoga, 1959, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)

B. in London, 1904;d. January 18, 1980.

From the description of Cecil Beaton : Artist File. (International Center of Photography). WorldCat record id: 539084703

English costume designer, Cecil Beaton won one of his many Tony awards for his work on My Fair Lady.

From the description of Costume designs, [1956]. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 699525477

Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton was an English fashion and portrait photographer and a stage and costume designer for films and the theater. Though primarily homosexual, he did have relationships with women, including the actress Greta Garbo.

From the description of Cecil Beaton correspondence, 1950-1979. (Peking University Library). WorldCat record id: 166636812

English artist and photographer.

From the description of Letter : Paris, to Mr. Toole-Smith, 1928 Feb. 13. (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRC); University of Texas at Austin). WorldCat record id: 122530507

Beaton (1904-1980) was a British photographer famous for his portraits.

From the description of Photographs, ca. 1943-1952. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79464624

From the guide to the Photographs, 1943-1952., (Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University)

Cecil Beaton, theatrical designer, won the 1960 Tony Award for costume design for his work on SARATOGA.

He was also nominated for best scenic designer for the same production.

From the description of Costume designs for Saratoga, [1959]. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122597061

Beaton was born in London and studied at St. John's College, Cambridge University. He enjoyed international success as a photographer, illustrator and designer during his lifetime. Throughout his career he photographed fashions for major magazines including Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. His sketches and society caricatures were frequently seen in these publications. Beaton served as official portrait photographer for the British royal family and during World War II his photography documented war-torn London. As a set and costume designer he worked on School for Scandal, Gigi, My Fair Lady, Turandot, Anna Karenina, and An Ideal Husband. He won an Academy Award costume design for Gigi in 1958 and for set and costume design for My Fair Lady in 1965. Beaton authored approximately 39 books including Book of Beauty (1930), The Glass of Fashion (1954) and Fashion: an anthology (1971). His life is documented in a series of diaries published throughout his lifetime.

In 1960 he received the French Legion of Honor and in 1972 he was knighted by H.R.M. Queen Elizabeth.

From the description of Cecil Beaton sketch collection, 1950-1959. (Fashion Institute of Tech Library). WorldCat record id: 773496517

Diana Vreeland, renowned editor-in-chief of Vogue, and fashion editor of Harper's Bazaar, was a dominant force in the fashion industry of the mid-twentieth century. She was born Diana Dalziel in Paris in 1903, the daughter of British stockbroker Frederick Young Dalziel and Emily Key Hoffman, an American. In 1924, she married Thomas Reed Vreeland (1899-1906), a banker and international financier. The Vreeland marriage produced two sons, Thomas Reed, Jr. and Frederick Dalziel.

Although born into a wealthy and socially prominent family, Vreeland worked for most of her life. From the late 1920s to the mid-1930s, she ran a small lingerie business in London. After the Vreelands returned to the United States, she began writing a freelance column "Why don't you?" for Harper's Bazaar. In 1937, Vreeland was hired for the as fashion editor and she remained at Harper's Bazaar for twenty-five years. She resigned in March of 1962, disappointed that she was not asked to succeed Carmel Snow as editor-in-chief.

Vreeland's next career move was to Vogue, the leading rival of Harper's Bazaar. In an article in the New York Times announcing Vreeland's appointment as associate editor, Carrie Donovan wrote, "Mrs. Vreeland is the most respected editor in the fashion business today. Her appearance at a fashion show is a the highest accolade a designer can hope for. ... Along with the late Carmel Snow, editor-in-chief of Harper's Bazaar, Mrs. Vreeland is credited with shaping the image of the magazine and, in turn, the looks of thousands of women." (New York Times, March 28, 1962).

At Vogue, she quickly rose to the position of editor-in-chief. She put her own personal stamp on the magazine and continued to make headlines in the fashion and business world. However, her personal style and extravagant spending conflicted with the priorities of the magazine's publisher. She was replaced as editor-in-chief in 1971, retaining the position of consultant.

During the final stage in her very long career, Vreeland revived the dormant Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Under her guidance and patronage, the Costume Institute would launch several spectacular exhibits that attracted the social elite and received high profile publicity. Among her Costume Institute triumphs were "The World of Balenciaga" in 1972 and "Romantic and Glamorous Hollywood Design" in 1974.

During the 1980s, Vreeland published two books, Allure (co-authored with Christopher Hemphill) and her autobiography, D.V..

Vreeland died in 1989, in New York City after a long period of illness.

From the guide to the Diana Vreeland papers, 1899-2000, 1930-1989, (The New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division.)


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  • Portrait photography
  • Diplomatic and consular service, American
  • Art, British
  • Photographers--Sources
  • Costume design
  • Photographers
  • Authors, English--20th century--Correspondence
  • Fashion design
  • Costume Institute (New York, N.Y.)--Exhibitions
  • Fashion photography
  • Jewelry--Private collections--United States
  • Buddhist education
  • Costume designers--Sources
  • Celebrities--Correspondence
  • Art--British (?)--Reproductions
  • Celebrities--Pictorial works
  • Theaters--Stage-setting and scenery
  • Fashion editors--United States
  • World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American
  • Set designers--20th century--Correspondence
  • Costume designers--20th century--Correspondence
  • Photographers--20th century--Correspondence
  • Theater--History--20th century


  • Photographers
  • Fashion editors


  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • England (as recorded)
  • England (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)