Paid Advertisement
Historynet/feed historynet feedback facebook link Weider History Group RSS feed Weider Subscriptions Historynet Home page

Portfolio: A Fashion Photographer in World War II

Originally published by MHQ magazine. Published Online: November 02, 2012 
Print Friendly
0 comments FONT +  FONT -

A welder takes a break from work at the shipyards of the British port of Tyneside. (Cecil Beaton/Imperial War Museum)
A welder takes a break from work at the shipyards of the British port of Tyneside. (Cecil Beaton/Imperial War Museum)

CECIL BEATON (1904–1980) IS REMEMBERED as a chronicler and habitué of high society. One of Britain's leading fashion and portrait photographers, he burst onto the scene when he was still in his 20s with shots of the royal family, Fred Astaire, Marlene Dietrich, and other stars of the 1920s and 1930s. All the while, he indulged in the same luxuries and elegant living that his subjects enjoyed. Friends thought him a dandy.

Subscribe Today

Subscribe to MHQ magazine

When World War II broke out, however, Beaton put aside the good life and aggressively lobbied the British Ministry of Information to do the grubby work of covering the war. Before the fighting was over, he had taken some 7,000 photos, capturing the British under siege on the home front and traveling to the Middle East, India, Burma, and China.

Misplaced in an archive for decades, his war work was only recently rediscovered. The Imperial War Museum in London is presenting more than 100 of the photos in the exhibit Cecil Beaton: Theatre of War, through January 1, 2013.

Beaton was perhaps the unlikeliest of war photographers; he later won three Oscars, two for My Fair Lady's costumes and art design. And his photos are not the typical blood-and-grime shots. Sailors and nurses look like matinee idols. Scenes of London's destruction resemble a well-designed West End stage. There's no blood, no sorrow or weariness. To Beaton, it seems, even something as horrible as war could be given a high gloss.

 

Click For More From MHQ!
Click For More From MHQ!

 



Leave a Reply

Human Verification: In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Related Articles


History Net Images Spacer
Paid Advertisement
Paid Advertisement
History Net Daily Activities
History net Spacer
History net Spacer
Historynet Spacer
HISTORYNET READERS' POLL

Which of these wars resulted in the most surprising underdog upset?

View Results | See previous polls

Loading ... Loading ...
History net Spacer
STAY CONNECTED WITH US
RSS Feed Daily Email Update
History net Spacer History net Spacer
Paid Advertisement

Paid Advertisement
What is HistoryNet?

The HistoryNet.com is brought to you by Weider History, the world's largest publisher of history magazines. HistoryNet.com contains daily features, photo galleries and over 5,000 articles originally published in our various magazines.

If you are interested in a specific history subject, try searching our archives, you are bound to find something to pique your interest.

From Our Magazines
Weider History

Weider History Network:  HistoryNet | Armchair General | Achtung Panzer! | StreamHistory.com
Today in History | Ask Mr. History | Picture of the Day | Daily History Quiz | Contact Us

Copyright © 2014 Weider History. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Advertise With Us | Subscription Help | Privacy Policy