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Cecil Beaton's Bright Young Things


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Accompanying a major new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, this book celebrates the portraits by renowned British photographer Cecil Beaton of the 'Bright Young Things' who flourished between the two World Wars. Featuring a glittering procession of celebrities, socialites and bohemian artists, captured with Beaton's inimitable elegance it brings to life a deliriously eccentric, glamorous and creative era of British cultural life.

About the Author

Robin Muir is a Contributing Editor to British Vogue. His books include Vogue 100: A Century of Style (2016), Under the Influence: John Deakin, Photography and the Lure of Soho (2014), Vogue Model: The Faces of Fashion (2013), Vogue Covers: On Fashion's Front Page (co-author, 2009), In Camera: Snowdon and the World of British Art (2007), The World's Most Photographed (2005), People in Vogue: A Century of Portrait Photography (co-author, 2005), Norman Parkinson: Portraits in Fashion (2004) and David Bailey: Chasing Rainbows (2001). Thomas Perrsonis a creative director, editor and brand consultant based in London. He was the founder, editor-in-chief and and Creative Director of Acne Paper (2004-2014) and founder of Luncheon, a style and culture biannual launched in 2016.


Otherworldly, untouchable in his beauty, and eerily, eternally modern.--Emma Garman "Paris Review"
A web of names spins around every image, every interaction--Virginia Woolf, the actress Anna May Wong, the economist John Maynard Keynes, the author Daphne du Maurier. Everyone seemed to know everyone....We see, through Beaton, his subjects' relentless search for distraction and, simultaneously, for meaning. We see their quest for a semblance of place, a home, but also, in contradiction, for freedom--for an escape from the humdrum, for that heady, if sometimes startling, sensation of not being trapped.--Lou Stoppard "Aperture"
From Bright Young Thing and documenter of London's lost generation of the 20s to a documenter of a new generation who would lose their lives in the Second World War, this is just one slice of Cecil Beaton's remarkable life through photography--Mark Simpson "AnOther Man"
Returning to Beaton's enchanted world is a tonic in a fear-ridden age, the catalogue, written by the exhibition's curator, Robin Muir, a delight.--David Platzer "New Criterion"
explores the aesthetic 1920s set and the photographer who chronicled them.--Brian T. Allen "National Review"
A century ago, a bohemian set of aristos and artists oozed glamour and wreaked havoc all through the streets of London.--Hannah Betts "Daily Mail"
A magnificently atmospheric display of pure magic--Lucie Davies "Telegraph"
An era's fun and flamboyance preserved in aspic.--Rachel Campbell-Johnston "The Times"
As they posed, partied and donned extravagant costumes, Beaton captured the antics of Britain's young aristocrats between the wars.--Sean O'Hagan "Guardian"
Beaton changed fashion photography forever.--Robin Muir "Vogue: UK"
Cecil Beaton and His Bright Young Things Are More Pertinent Than Ever--Jack Moss "AnOther"
Cecil Beaton's Bright Young Things Are Tinged With Darkness--Will Noble "Londonist"
Decades after Cecil Beaton captured their heyday on camera, his most colourful characters are taking us for a spin again--Hugo Vickers "Telegraph"
Glittering portrait of a gilded generation.--Melanie McDonagh "Evening Standard"
Power, privilege and glamour in 1920s London: Inside the glittering world of the Bright Young Things--Eve Watling "Independent"
The 'Bright Young Things, ' as a flamboyant group of artists, writers and socialites came to be known, are shown here in all their decadence, boundless creativity and utter fashionability.--Ken Scrudato "Blackbook"

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