Cecil Beaton: Theatre of War at the Imperial War Museum

6 September 2012 – 1 January 2013

Cecil Beaton’s ‘Men of the Long Range Desert Group after returning to headquarters at the end of a desert patrol, Siwa, Libya, 1942’

According to the FT  “the great fashion photographer was also a masterly war artist, as this revelatory exhibition demonstrates”

From the IWM website:Cecil Beaton is one of Britain’s most celebrated photographers and designers. His glamorous photographs of royalty and celebrities projected him to fame but his extraordinary work as a wartime photographer is less well-known.

Commissioned by the Ministry of Information in July 1940, Beaton was the longest serving high-profile photographer to cover the Second World War. He travelled throughout Britain, the Middle East, India, China and Burma and captured a world on the brink of lasting change.

In later years, Beaton attributed his war photographs as his single most important body of photographic work. Through his photographs, drawings and books as well as his work in theatre and film, this exhibition tells the story of how the war became a personal turning point in Beaton’s career.”      According to the FT, “Beaton was in his element photographing the final days of the Raj, bringing his inherent sense of theatre not only to the palatial drawing rooms of the governor of Bombay or the viceroy of India but also to portraits of a Simla tailor on the steps of his shop, or a rag-and-bone merchant outside a mosque.”

Cecil Beaton: Theatre of War | Imperial War Museums.

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