Love, Cecil : A Journey with Cecil Beaton
A Journey with Cecil Beaton
In Love, Cecil, Lisa Immordino Vreeland offers an evocative portrait of this talented whirlwind whose creative work captured many facets of the 20th century. Using photography, drawings, letters, and scrapbooks by Beaton and his contemporaries, along with excerpts from his sparkling diaries and other writings, Immordino Vreeland brings his spirit to life in a way that no previous book has been able to do. Immordino Vreeland organizes her book around the circles of Beaton's daily life: the people who inspired and influenced him, his colorful friends, his fellow photographers, his Hollywood conquests, his wartime service, and his English roots. This cavalcade offers a shimmering vision of high style, but it also captures often-troubled souls struggling to create the open, tolerant, creative worlds of art and culture that we have inherited today. "Lisa Immordino Vreeland's visual biography presents a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the motivations, inspirations and obsessions that drove one of fashion s most prodigious photographers. With access to his journals, scrapbooks and letters, Love, Cecil seeks to fill in the shapes around the artist, a surprisingly lonely character who always thought himself an outsider. Neither does she shy away from addressing his less endearing qualities, his quick irritation and the anti-Semitic comments that ruined his later career. Mostly, however, her efforts are focused on showcasing his omnivorous drive to create and a body of work that still dazzles near 40 years after his death." Financial Times "Hollywood Confidential. From hiding their pregnancies to recording their mood swings, few people came closer to cinema's greatest stars than Sir Cecil Beaton." - The Telegraph Magazine "In Love, Cecil: A Journey with Cecil Beaton, Lisa Immordino Vreeland (Diana's granddaughter-in-law) offers an evocative portrait of the luminary's life, covering his influences, inspirations, friends and Hollywood conquests through a cavalcade of photographs, scrapbooks and letters." Vanity Fair UK "Unlike the 74 bus, Beaton books come along every few minutes. But the bus stops here, at Lisa Immordino Vreeland's sumptuous, subtle Love, Cecil. The title unpunctuated could be a command as well as an envoi. Obey, and be enchanted." The Spectator "Some of the best of the photographer's work has been gathered together by Lisa Immordino Vreeland in Love, Cecil. Beaton is a textbook case of loving the art and not the artist. The photographer was a catty snob who always felt he should have been born, Vreeland notes, further up the English class ladder. And he was hardly a miner's son to start with. In 1938 he even sneaked an anti-Semitic slur into a drawing for Vogue. But he had an eye, as Love, Cecil reminds us. It is full of theatrical images and offhand surrealist grace. It's a talent that almost makes you forgive him. Almost . . . " Sunday Herald "The glamorous world of photographer, writer, painter and designer Cecil Beaton is told in this visually rich portrait of his complex character." - The Gloss "Attempting a complete portrait of a photographer in just one book is an ambitious project but one that Immordino Vreeland attempts with verve, taking us from Beaton's early life and friendships right through his highly varied career, backing it up with drawings, diaries, scrapbooks and, of course, photographs." - Black + White Photography "What this well-designed book is excellent at showing is the diversity of Cecil Beaton's approach, with his lens capturing everything from Tyneside welders to fashion shoots. While his sketchbooks never fail to fascinate, it is an image of Beaton in Thirties Hollywood, flirting coyly with Gary Cooper, that proves the most compelling. It shows Cooper smiling quizzically at Beaton, with the look of someone asking: 'Who is this guy?' It is a question often asked of the photographer, one of the most ambivalent of the 20th century's fashion commentators.", The Times
Filmmaker and writer Lisa Immordino Vreeland is the author of Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel. Her popular and innovative documentaries Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel, which the Hollywood Reporter called a "vivid, delicious trip," and Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict have reached wide audiences. Previously a fashion entrepreneur, Vreeland was born in Milan, Italy, and lives in New York City.