‘BEATON AT BROOK STREET’, Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, 39 Brook Street, London W1, 18th November – 5th December 2014
This is a new version of the really wonderful show Beaton at Home that was held in Salisbury Museum earlier in the year. I wrote about it in my blog (25/06/14) in some detail so will not repeat it all here but for those of you that did not make it to Salisbury this is the chance to see key pieces from the recreation of rooms at both Ashcombe and Reddish.
The additional treat is that his London home – 8 Pelham Place – is included in this new London show, which is once again brilliantly curated by Andrew Ginger. Beaton had purchased Pelham Place in 1940 and shared it with his mother. Following her death in 1962, he decided on a revamp of the interiors to reflect the modern style of the 1960s. Modern art was combined with Giacometti lamps and 60s tub chairs to provide an ambience in contrast to the more traditional interiors of Reddish.
Beaton used the house as a backdrop for some of the portraits he took of personalities such as Twiggy and Gilbert and George and some of these will be on view. These interiors carefully created by Beaton provided the perfect stage for a multi-talented man who was a photographer, theatre and costume designer, painter, diarist and socialite.
I shall leave it to Roger Jones, director of Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, to sum up why the firm was the perfect place to hold this celebration of Beaton’s homes: “We are thrilled to be holding this exhibition at Brook Street. Cecil Beaton’s links with Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler Ltd go back a long way: Lady Colefax was a great friend of Cecil Beaton, as was Nancy Lancaster, who owned the company in the 1950’s. John Fowler and Cecil Beaton also knew one another well, though their relationship was rather prickly at times. When we saw the wonderful Beaton exhibition at the Salisbury Museum this summer, we felt that its subject-matter, Beaton’s developing tastes and skill as an interior decorator as manifest in his own homes, was a perfect match for us as an interior decorating company. We were delighted when Andrew Ginger the curator agreed to bring the highlights of the Salisbury exhibition to us at Brook Street and add new material as well. Hugo Vickers’s new book, Cecil Beaton: Portraits and Profiles, was the excuse to add a further attraction: a display of Beaton portraits, many of them images from Sotheby’s Cecil Beaton Studio Archives, and others, including pencil sketches and oil portraits, privately lent by many kind friends.”
Doors open at 6.30pm and lectures commence at 7pm (prompt)
Malice in Wonderland – Wednesday, 19 November
Hugo Vickers, Cecil Beaton’s official biographer and literary executor, discusses his life and work and introduces CECIL BEATON: PORTRAITS & PROFILES, combining photographic and pen portraits
The Beaton Image – Wednesday, 26 November
A rare showing of this excellent 1984 BBC documentary, with introduction by Andrew Ginger, curator of CECIL BEATON AT HOME – TOWN & COUNTRY
My Fashionable Life – Tuesday, 2 December
Fashion historian Dr Ben Wild considers Beaton’s own style and sartorial elegance in this beautifully illustrated lecture
The Man, the Magazine, the Century – Thursday, 4 December
Josephine Ross, author of BEATON IN VOGUE, explores Beaton’s extensive contribution to Vogue magazine through his drawings, photographs and essays
Evening lectures at 39 Brook Street, W1. Tickets £25 each, including a pre-lecture glass of wine.
Contact Colefax Group Press Office on +44 (0)20 7318 6035, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Signed copies of the book will be available at £28 each (rrp £30) or £50 for two throughout the exhibition.