MUSEUM DUNIA MAYA DR IWAN
Dr IWAN ‘S CYBERMUSEUM
THE FIRST INDONESIAN CYBERMUSEUM
MUSEUM DUNIA MAYA PERTAMA DI INDONESIA
DALAM PROSES UNTUK MENDAPATKAN SERTIFIKAT MURI
PENDIRI DAN PENEMU IDE
Dr IWAN SUWANDY, MHA
The Driwan’s Cybermuseum
THE CECIL BEATON ART PHOTOGRAPHY
“Cecil Beaton: the New York Years”, The exhibition traces the artist’s astonishing career in New York City. Photographs of Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn, Mick Jagger, Marilyn Monroe, Wallis Simpson (the Duchess of Windsor), and Andy Warhol, among many other 20th-century icons, taken by a man who made himself iconic—the legendary Cecil Beaton .”Cecil Beaton: the New York Years” will feature vintage fashion photographs and celebrity portraits, award-winning set and costume designs for celebrated stage productions, original drawings, and other ephemera. A book, entitled Cecil Beaton: the New York Years, accompanies the exhibition; featuring 200 stunning images, it is published by Skira Rizzoli and will be available in the Museum’s Shop and elsewhere.
“New York City provided especially fertile territory for Cecil Beaton in the mid-20th century. Presented with its kaleidoscopic scene, he photographed everything from the jewel-toned gowns of Charles James to the scrappy t-shirts of Warhol’s Factory members, and everyone from Greta Garbo to Tom Wolfe, and even himself in many guises. Cecil Beaton was enchanted by New York, and in turn he enchanted the world with its glamour.” The exhibition documents the artist’s colossal success in New York City from the height of the Jazz Age through the 1980s. As a result of his prescience, which brought him to the city as it was becoming a world capital, and his talent, which catapulted him to the heights of his profession almost instantly, Cecil Beaton enthralled New Yorkers and the rest of the world with his prodigious output, blurring the boundaries between art, theater, commerce, high society, and counter-culture. “Cecil Beaton: the New York Years” is the second exhibition of the artist’s work at the Museum, which in 1969 mounted 600 Faces by Beaton.
Highlights of the exhibition include photographs that stunningly document the pantheon of celebrated fashion designers of the day, including Balenciaga, Irene, Charles James, Lanvin, Mainbocher, Elsa Schiaparelli, and others, drawings and photographs of the women who played key roles in Beaton’s career and life—Mona Bismarck, Greta Garbo, Diana Vreeland, and Wallis Simpson (the Duchess of Windsor), material related to Beaton’s firing by Condé Nast in early 1938 for an anti-Semitic comment that was inadvertently published, although Beaton was brought back to the magazine in the early 1940s, Beaton’s photographs of Greta Garbo, counted among the greatest images of her ever taken, which were made when the two were romantically involved, photographs of such 20th-century figures as Adele and Fred Astaire, Marlon Brando, Maria Callas, Martha Graham, Elsa Maxwell, Babe Paley, Diana Vreeland, and more. The exhibition will also feature Beaton’s hand-drawn portraits, caricatures, and sketches beside costume and set designs for Broadway plays, including Noël Coward’s Quadrille (1954), Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady (1956), and Lerner and Previn’s Coco (1969) and the New York City Ballet productions of Camille (1946), Illuminations (1950), and Swan Lake (1951).
British-born Cecil (Walter Hardy) Beaton (1904-1980) arrived in New York City in 1928, having achieved early success in his homeland. Trans-Atlantic connections resulted in his near-instant introduction to New York City’s elite, including Elsie de Wolfe and Edna Woolman Chase, the editor of Vogue magazine at the time. What followed is the stuff of legend: a remarkably agile career which spanned fifty years and as many visionary works in which Beaton brought his rarefied vision to bear on fashion photography, illustration and caricature, portraiture (in drawings and photographs), and set and costume design for stage and film. Cecil Beaton’s stratospheric ambition was nurtured and sustained by mid-20th–century New York, where his career was able to maintain a feverishly high pitch. Society figures, media giants, impresarios, celebrities, actors, artists, writers, and the merely famous passed in front of his camera in an endless parade of glamour and style. The pages of Condé Nast publications—most notably, Vogue magazine—showcased his elaborately staged photo shoots, in which his eye for opulence and drama animated such sitters as Fred (and his wife, Adele) Astaire, Maria Callas, Greta Garbo, Martha Graham, Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn, and the woman who would become the ultimate 20th-century icon: Marilyn Monroe. He enlivened his photographs with sets in which he borrowed liberally and extravagantly from European art forms, incorporating formal elements of modern (and classical) painting and sculpture into his work, and bringing elements of such major aesthetic movements as impressionism, surrealism, and others into the homes of magazine readers nationwide.
Beaton’s photographs, in essence, were sets—or tableaux—enabling him to shift effortlessly into design for the performing arts just as post-WWII New York was becoming an international cultural capital. His extraordinary stage sets and costumes for Broadway, the Metropolitan Opera, and the New York City Ballet were masterful evocations of “place” in the extreme. He depicted the ancient Chinese society of Turandot (1961) with a visual hierarchy of robed chorus members and tiered pagodas; original costumes for this opera will be on view in Cecil Beaton: The New York Years. The Metropolitan Opera’s opening season at Lincoln Center featured Beaton’s production of La Traviata; original costumes from this opera will also be on view. His costume designs for the Ascot Race scene in Broadway’s My Fair Lady (1956), for which he won a Tony Award, pointedly exaggerated Edwardian fashion and later inspired Truman Capote’s renowned Black and White Ball of 1966. The facility with which he designed for the stage coupled with his mastery of photographic technique catapulted him into film, where his costume and set designs for My Fair Lady (1964) earned him two Academy Awards, both in addition to the one he’d received for his costumes in the beloved film Gigi (1958).
In the 1960s Beaton turned his lens on Andy Warhol and the Factory. Like Beaton and his close friend and confidante (and subject of numerous photographs), Truman Capote, Warhol moved easily both within New York society (where each found artistic inspiration) and outside of it (where each was able to work obsessively). Unlike Beaton, Warhol had publicly expressed his belief that art and commerce were inextricably linked. Unlike Warhol however, Beaton was criticized—by Hilton Kramer in The New York Times—for his proximity to society’s riches. Possibly inspired by, or recognizing a kindred spirit in Warhol, Beaton pursued a new, young generation of the rich or famous, including a study of Factory members Candy Darling and Ultra Violet, as well as others, such as Mick Jagger and Tom Wolfe.
THE BIOGRAPHY OF CECIL BEATON
Beaton was born on 14 January 1904 in Hampstead the son of Ernest Walter Hardy Beaton (1867–1936), a prosperous timber merchant, and his wife Etty Sissons (1872–1962). His grandfather, Walter Hardy Beaton (1841–1904), had founded the family business of Beaton Brothers Timber Merchants and Agents, and his father followed into the business. Ernest Beaton was also an amateur actor and had met his wife, Cecil’s mother, when playing the lead in a play. She was the daughter of a Cumbrian blacksmith named Oldcorn who had come to London to visit her married sister. It is through this connection that Cecil is related to the Blessed Father Edward Oldcorne who was involved in the Gunpowder Plot. They had four children — in addition to Cecil there were two daughters Nancy (1909–99) and Baba (1912–73), and another son Reggie (1905–33).
Nancy married Sir Hugh (Smiley Baronets) (1905–90) and Baba married Alec Hambro.
Cecil Beaton was educated at Heath Mount School (where he was bullied by Evelyn Waugh) and St Cyprian’s School, Eastbourne, where his artistic talent was quickly recognised. Both Cyril Connolly and Henry Longhurst report in their autobiographies being overwhelmed by the beauty of Beaton’s singing at the St Cyprian’s school concerts. When Beaton was growing up his Nanny had a Kodak 3A Camera, a popular model which was renowned for being an ideal piece of equipment to learn on. Beaton’s nanny began teaching him the basics of photography and developing film. He would often get his sisters and mother to sit for him. When he was sufficiently proficient, he would send the photos off to London society magazines, often writing under a pen name and ‘recommending’ the work of Beaton.
Beaton attended Harrow, and then, despite having little or no interest in academia, moved on to St John’s College, Cambridge, and studied history, art and architecture. Beaton continued his photography, and through his university contacts managed to get a portrait sitting with the Duchess of Malfi — actually George “Dadie” Rylands and, as Beaton recalled years later, “It was a slightly out-of-focus snapshot of him as Webster’s Duchess of Malfi standing in the sub-aqueous light outside the men’s lavatory of the ADC Theatre at Cambridge.” The resulting images gave Beaton his first ever piece of published work when Vogue magazine bought and printed the photos.
Beaton left Cambridge without a degree in 1925, but only coped with salaried employment in his father’s timber business for eight days. His brother Reggie however entered the business and remained until his death in October 1933.
For fifteen years between 1930 and 1945
, Beaton leased Ashcombe House in Wiltshire, where he entertained many notable figures.
In 1948 he bought Reddish House, set in 2.5 acres of gardens, approximately 5 miles to the east in Broad Chalke. Here he transformed the interior, adding rooms on the eastern side, extending the parlour southwards, and introducing many new fittings. Greta Garbo was a visitor. The upper floor had been equipped for illegal cock-fighting at the beginning of the 20th century but Beaton used the cages as wardrobes to store the costumes from his set design of My Fair Lady. He remained at the house until his death in 1980 and is buried in the churchyard. In 1947, he also bought a townhouse at number 8 Pelham Place in London.
Beaton designed book jackets and costumes for charity matinees, learning the professional craft of photography at the studio of Paul Tanqueray, until Vogue took him on regularly in 1927. He also set up his own studio, and one of his earliest clients and, later, best friends was Stephen Tennant; Beaton’s photographs of Tennant and his circle are considered some of the best representations of the Bright Young People of the twenties and thirties.
He was a photographer for the British edition of Vogue in 1931 when George Hoyningen-Huene, photographer for the French Vogue traveled to England with his new friend Horst. Horst himself would begin to work for French Vogue in November of that year. The exchange and cross pollination of ideas between this collegial circle of artists across the Channel and the Atlantic gave rise to the look of style and sophistication for which the 1930s are known.
Beaton’s first camera was a Kodak 3A folding camera. Over the course of his career, he employed both large format cameras, and smaller Rolleiflex cameras. Beaton was never known as a highly skilled technical photographer, and instead focused on staging a compelling model or scene and looking for the perfect shutter-release moment.
Beaton often photographed the Royal Family for official publication. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother was his favourite Royal sitter, and he once pocketed her scented hankie as a keepsake from a highly successful shoot. Beaton took the famous wedding pictures of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (wearing an ensemble by the noted fashion designer Mainbocher).
During the Second World War, Beaton was initially posted to the Ministry of Information and given the task of recording images from the home front. During this assignment he captured one of the most enduring images of British suffering during the war, that of three-year-old Blitz victim Eileen Dunne recovering in hospital, clutching her beloved teddy bear. When the image was published, America had not yet officially joined the war—but splashed across the press in the US, images such as Beaton’s helped push the American public to put pressure on their Government to help Britain in its hour of need.
Beaton had a major influence on and relationship with two other leading lights in British photography, that of Angus McBean and David Bailey. McBean was arguably the best portrait photographer of his era—in the second part of McBean’s career (post-war) his work is clearly heavily influenced by Beaton, though arguably McBean was technically far more proficient in his execution. Bailey was also enormously influenced by Beaton when they met while working for British Vogue in the early 1960s, Bailey’s stark use of square format (6×6) images bears clear connections to Beaton’s own working patterns.
Stage and film design
His most lauded achievement for the stage was the costumes for Lerner and Loewe‘s My Fair Lady (1956), which led to two Lerner and Loewe film musicals, Gigi (1958) and My Fair Lady (1964), both of which earned Beaton the Academy Award for Costume Design. He also designed the period costumes for the 1970 film On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.
He also designed the sets and costumes for a production of Puccini’s last opera Turandot, first used at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and then at Covent Garden.
Cecil Beaton was also a published and well-known diarist. In his lifetime six volumes of diaries were published, spanning the years 1922–1974. Recently a number of unexpurgated diaries have been published. These differ immensely in places to Beaton’s original publications. Fearing libel suits in his own lifetime, it would have been foolhardy for Beaton to have included some of his more frank and incisive observations.
Two years later he suffered a stroke that would leave him permanently paralysed on the right side of his body. Although he learnt to write and draw with his left hand, and had cameras adapted, Beaton became frustrated by the limitations the stroke had put upon his work. As a result of his stroke, Beaton became anxious about financial security for his old age and, in 1976, entered into negotiations with Philippe Garner, expert-in-charge of photographs at Sotheby’s. On behalf of the auction house, Garner acquired Beaton’s archive—excluding all portraits of the Royal Family, and the five decades of prints held by Vogue in London, Paris and New York. Garner, who had almost singlehandedly invented the photographic auction, oversaw the archive’s preservation and partial dispersal, so that Beaton’s only tangible assets, and what he considered his life’s work, would ensure him an annual income. The first of five auctions was held in 1977, the last in 1980.
The great love of his life was the art collector Peter Watson, although they were never lovers. He had relationships with various men. He also had relationships with women, including the actresses Greta Garbo and Coral Browne, and the British socialite Doris, Viscountess Castlerosse.
Honours, awards and medals
- Tony Award for Best Costume Design for Quadrille (play) (1955)
- CBE (1956)
- Tony Award for Best Costume Design for My Fair Lady (1957)
- Fellow of the Ancient Monuments Society (1957)
- Academy Award for Costume Design for Gigi (1958)
- Tony Award for Best Costume Design for Saratoga (1960)
- Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (1960)
- Academy Award for Best Art Direction for My Fair Lady (1964)
- Academy Award for Costume Design for My Fair Lady (1964)
- Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain (1965)
- Tony Award for Best Costume Design for Coco (musical) 1970
- Knighthood (1972)
- Sir William Walton, 1926
- Stephen Tennant, 1927
- Lady Diana Cooper, 1928
- Charles James (designer), 1929
- Lillian Gish, 1929
- Oliver Messel, 1929
- Lord David Cecil, 1930
- Lady Georgia Sitwell, 1930
- Gary Cooper, 1931
- Salvador Dalí, 1936
- Natalie Paley, 1936
- Aldous Huxley, 1936
- Daisy Fellowes, 1937
- Helen of Greece and Denmark, Queen Mother of Romania, 1937
- Queen Sita Devi of Kapurthala,1940
- Bomb Victim (Elienn Dunne), 1940
- Winston Churchill, 1940
- Graham Sutherland, 1940
- Charles de Gaulle, 1941
- Walter Sickert, 1942
- Maharani Gayatri Devi, Rajmata of Jaipur, 1943
- John Pope-Hennessy, 1945
- Isabel Jeans, 1945
- Greta Garbo, 1946
- Yul Brynner, 1946
- Vivien Leigh, 1947
- Marlon Brando, 1947
- Duchess of Windsor, 1951
- Vita Sackville-West, 1952
- C.Z. Guest, 1952
- Graham Greene, 1953
- Elizabeth II‘s Coronation, 1953………………….
- Grace Kelly, 1954
- Mona von Bismarck, 1955
- Bernard Berenson, 1955
- Joan Crawford, 1956
- Mrs. Charles (Jayne Wrightsman), 1956
- Maria Callas, 1956
- Dame Edith Sitwell, 1956
- Colin Wilson, 1956
- Marilyn Monroe, 1956
- Albert Finney, 1961
- Cristobal Balenciaga, 1962
- Lee Radziwill, 1962
- Karen Blixen, 1962
- Rudolf Nureyev, 1963
- Audrey Hepburn, 1964
- Margot Fonteyn, 1965
- Jacqueline Kennedy, 1965
- Sheridan Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 5th Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, 1965
- Jamie Wyeth, 1966
- Georgia O’Keeffe, 1966
- Andy Warhol, 1967
- Twiggy, 1967
- Mick Jagger, 1968
- Katharine Hepburn, 1969
- Barbra Streisand, 1969
- Gloria Guinness, 1970
- Hubert de Givenchy, 1970
- Mae West, 1970
- David Hockney, 1970
- Jane Birkin, 1971
- Marie-Hélène de Rothschild, 1971
- Marisa Berenson as Luisa Casati, 1971
- Pauline de Rothschild, 1972
- Tina Chow, 1973
- Gilbert and George, 1974
- Inès de la Fressange, 1978
- Paloma Picasso, 1978
- Caroline of Monaco, 1978
- Olimpia de Rothschild, 1978
- Dayle Haddon, 1979
- My Royal Past, 1939
- Ashcombe: The Story of a Fifteen-Year Lease, 1949
- Photobiography, 1951
- Persona Grata, 1953
- Indian Diary and Album
- The Glass of Fashion
- My Bolivian aunt: a memoir
- Chinese Diary and Album
- Japanese, 1959
- Portrait of New York
- Self-portrait with Friends: the Selected Diaries of Cecil Beaton, 1926–1974
- The wandering years; diaries, 1922–1939
- Cecil Beaton’s The Years Between Diaries, 1939–44
- The strenuous years, diaries, 1948–55
- The restless years: diaries, 1955–63
- The parting years: diaries, 1963–74
- The Unexpurgated Beaton: The Cecil Beaton Diaries as He Wrote Them, 1970–80
- Beaton in the Sixties: The Cecil Beaton Diaries as He Wrote Them, 1965–69
- Cecil Beaton’s ‘Fair Lady’ (diary excerpts and costume sketches), 1966 .
- The face of the world: an international scrapbook of people and places.
- I take great pleasure
- Quail in Aspic: the Life Story of Count Charles Korsetz
In October 2011, the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow featured an oil portrait by Beaton of rock star Mick Jagger, whom Beaton meet in the 1960s. The painting, originally sold at the Le Fevre Gallery in 1966, was valued for insurance purposes at £30,000.
THE END @ COPYRIGHT Dr IWAN SUWANDY 2011