–The curator of the National Potrait Gallery’s Cecil Beaton exhibit (Robin Muir) has posted several photos (some with his comments) of the exhibit. There is one on Instagram showing Henry Lamb’s portraits of Evelyn Waugh and Cecil Beaton hanging next to each other. The portrait to the left of Cecil is Constant Lambert by Christopher Wood. Here’s the link. You may have to scroll up to see Robin Muir’s comments, but it’s worth the effort. They are copied below in case they prove elusive:
🎟 MEDITATIVE 🎈Portraits by Henry Lamb and Christopher Wood • This is likely the first time Evelyn Waugh and Cecil • (Both by Henry Lamb) • Have knowingly been in the same room together • For an extended period of time at least • Since Heath Mount Prep School, Hampstead • (E was absolutely HORRID to C • And C never forgot it) • Cecil has so many connections to Christopher Wood too • (Left, his portrait of Constant Lambert) • Not least acquiring Reddish House from poor dead Kit’s parents 💥🖤 #nationalportraitgallery
For additional photos from the NPG exhibit, link to Robin Muir’s website.
–Muir, who is also a contributing editor of Vogue’s London edition, will give a talk on Friday, 20 March at the NPG entitled “’When I Die I want to Go to Vogue’: Cecil Beaton’s Most Enduring Patron”. This will be at 19:00p in the gallery’s Ondaatje Wing Theatre. Tickets and other details are available at this link.
–According to its website (as of 13:30p GMT, 16 March 2020), the NPG at Trafalgar Square is currently open daily from 10:00a-18:00p, Friday until 21:00p. It has also posted this advice relating to the Wuhan virus epidemic: “In line with government guidelines, the Gallery is open for business as usual. We are closely monitoring the situation and will continue to act on the advice of the Government and Public Health England.” See update.
–The current issue of the London edition of Vogue also carries a story by Muir about the decision to mount an exhibit limited to the early years of Beaton’s career. As Muir explains:
…virtually every exhibition of his work to date has been a career-long survey. Yet Beaton’s whimsical early years as a photographer deserve special attention. Opening at the National Portrait Gallery on 12 March, Cecil Beaton’s Bright Young Things traces Beaton’s artistic development from 1924, when he began considering where photography might take him, through to the end of the 1930s, when World War II forced British Vogue – and Beaton – to radically change its style. It was during the first decades of his life, which Beaton called the “uprise”, that his ear for a name and eye for a beauty were at their keenest, especially if either might advance him. That fact is manifestly apparent in the wonderful luminosity of the vintage prints in the exhibition – many of which show, with tears and abrasions, the patina of age, lucky survivors entirely out of step with the digital age.
UPDATE (18 March 2020): The NPG has announced that it will be closed after today, Wednesday 18 March. The lecture on Friday is cancelled and whether it will be rescheduled is unknown.