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Cecil Beaton: The New York Years

by habituallychic

11 . 26 . 11
Instead of spending Black Friday shopping, I decided to spend it enjoying some black and white photography. With a little color thrown in for good measure.  In order to burn off some pumpkin pie calories, I also decided to walk the 30 blocks uptown to the Museum of the City of New York for the Cecil Beaton: The New York Years exhibition. Not only are the photos, drawings, costumes and other items amazing but the exhibit design is also top notch.  I definitely think Mr. Beaton would be pleased again since it’s not his first exhibition at the museum.  In 1969, they presented a retrospective entitled 600 Faces by Beaton, 1928-1969. This time they focus on his home away from home in New York where he worked a lot for Vogue magazine and made friends with Greta Garbo, Truman Capote and Diana Vreeland to name a few. For those of you who can’t make it to the exhibit before it closed on February 20, 2012, I suggest picking up the accompanying book Cecil Beaton: The New York Years published by Rizzoli. I really enjoyed the exhibit and definitely say it was much more fun than braving the crowds at the stores on Black Friday.

The rose wallpaper in the entry was designed by Cecil Beaton.
I loved the drawings on the walls that led to the exhibit.

Cecil Beaton, Self Portrait on the Brooklyn Bridge, 1929

Original copies of his many books are on display.

This drawing of Elsie de Wolfe appeared in Vogue, May 1, 1935.

Diana Vreeland at home in 1954 by Cecil Beaton.

Diana Vreeland, 1965

Models in Charles James gowns photographed at French & Co., New York, 1948.

Cecil Beaton’s suite at the Plaza Hotel, New York, 1946.

Audrey Hepburn, 1960

Mick Jagger, 1970

Maria Callas, 1957

Model in gown by Adele Simpson, 1945.

Costumes designed by Cecil Beaton.

Costume sketch for the title role in Turandot, Metropolitan Opera, 1961.

The finished costume.

Audrey Hepburn in costume for film version of My Fair Lady, 1963.

Greta Garbo was one of Cecil Beaton’s only hetrosexual relationships and took some of the best candid photos of the actress in his suite at the Plaza Hotel.

Greta Garbo, 1946

Greta Garbo, 1946

Mariln Monroe, 1956

Martha Graham, 1967

The Duke of Windsor and Mrs. Simpson, 1938.

Exhibition photos by Heather Clawson for Habitually Chic.  All others by Cecil Beaton.

Comments Closed

  1. Bohemian Grandma November 27, 2011 | 12:49 am

    Great post. Amazing exhibit. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. penelopebianchi November 27, 2011 | 7:03 am

    Totally brilliant!

    Your post! AND the exhibition at the Museum of New York!

    I must say!! Whoever is in charge there; knows what is divine, important….and is in the shadows!

    I flew to New York for one!….from California!
    Dorothy Draper……..
    Have to come see this one!

    Thanks for the “heads up”!!!

  3. mary November 27, 2011 | 12:10 pm

    Hi Heather….I’m in suspense: did you walk back? I love the photos of the CB exhibit. Pure genius. Thanks. Mary

  4. vogueno5 November 27, 2011 | 12:22 pm

    i love it ! Audrey and Marylin <3

  5. Pamela Munger November 27, 2011 | 12:58 pm

    What a fun exhibit! He was a real talent.

  6. Kathy November 27, 2011 | 2:32 pm

    I always feel so much more intelligent and cultured after reading your posts, thanks Heather!

  7. Brillante Interiors November 27, 2011 | 6:47 pm

    This post made my day, it is such a treasure in terms of images and memories of another era. I am becoming nostalgic so I will go looking for my pumpkin pie now…