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Cecil Beaton at Home: An Interior Life

Written by Andrew Ginger, Foreword by Hugo Vickers

  • October 25, 2016
  • Hardcover
  • Design - Fashion & Accessories
  • Rizzoli
  • 10 x 12
  • $85.00
  • $115.00
  • 978-0-8478-4877-5

About This Book

A private view of the genius of Cecil Beaton, reflected through the lens of his town and country idylls, and his passion for interior design, gardening, and entertaining a circle of Bright Young Things. Cecil Beaton (1904–1980) was one of twentieth-century Britain’s Renaissance men: photographer, costume designer, set designer, playwright, creator of fashion fabrics, and writer on raffiné interiors and the personalities who inhabited them. He also happened to be a fine interior decorator. Cecil Beaton at Home focuses on two homes dear to Beaton’s heart—Ashcombe House, near the Wiltshire village of Tollard Royal, and Reddish House, located in Broad Chalke, another village in the same county—as well as London's Pelham Place and Beaton’s New York hotel suites. Simultaneously a retreat, an inspiration, a photographer’s studio, and a stage for impressive entertaining, Beaton’s country homes also fueled his passion for art, gardening, and delight in village life. Against his often-extravagant interiors, Beaton’s private life unfolds—his unique talent for self-promotion, desire for theatricality, and uncertain pursuit of love. This lavishly illustrated visual biography brings together original photographs, artworks, and possessions from his interiors to present an intimate picture of Beaton’s extraordinary life.

About the Author

Andrew Ginger is the managing director of Beaudesert Limited. Combining twenty years of experience in interiors at the highest level with a Cambridge art historical background, Ginger has also acted as designer for the growing house collection of archive document handprints for the last ten years.

Hugo Vickers is an English writer and broadcaster who has written biographies of many twentieth-century figures, including the Queen Mother, Cecil Beaton, and Vivien Leigh, and a study of Greta Garbo.

Reviews

  • "...although Beaton is most famous for his fashion and portrait photography, his life in and involved with homes was just as integral to his identity.'" 
    —Vogue


    "A private tour of Cecil Beaton’s passion for interior design, gardening, and fashion. Peek into the British renaissance man’s own beloved residences."
    —The Society Diaries

    "Cecil Beaton at Home: An Interior Life . . . explores the private quarters of the original multihyphenate, showcasing his beloved country homes—Ashcombe House and Reddish House—as well as his stylish suites in London and New York. With his theatrical homes as a backdrop, an intimate picture of Beaton’s private life unfolds through this fascinating visual biography." 
    —Modern Luxury Interiors (Atlanta)

    Cecil Beaton at Home: An Interior Life, due this year, was conceived by Andrew Ginger as an 'interiorography' examining Beaton’s decorative enthusiasms." 
    —New York Times

    "Concentrating on the favorite of his country homes as well as his hotel residences, this visual biography shows how his interior life informed his talents as a designer, writer, photographer and playwright (there are more, but you get it-he was a pretty big deal).  A multihypenate bon vivant, Interior Designer was one of his favorite callings and pasttimes.  Each page will allow you to escape back into a life of beauty and refinement that houses a genius mind." 
    —Pretty Page Turner 

    "Designer Andrew Ginger pulls back the curtain on two of the tastemaker's most beloved country homes -- Ashcombe House and Reddish House -- in this richly illustrated "visual biography" featuring original photographs, artworks, and possessions from Beaton's interiors."
    —Neiman Marcus, The Book

    "A visual and literary portrait written and curated by Andrew Ginger, Cecil Beaton at Home: An Interior Life reveals the artist's passions, tastes, and personal lifestyle through the extravagance of his private country residences. For Beaton devotees and lovers of all things design, it's a unique and illuminative glimpse at the artistic inspirations and everyday realities of the CBE."
    Interview.com

    "[Beaton's] prodigious talents reached beyond the photo studio; Beaton was a renowned Oscar- and Tony-award-winning  costume designer and art director for My Fair Lady, as well as painter and much-admired interior designer.  Author Andrew Ginger recently spoke to us about his new book, Cecil Beaton at Home: An Interior Life (Rizzoli) which looks at a lesser-chronicled aspect of Beaton’s renowned artistic life."
    Gotham Magazine

    "Within the pages of this recently released hardcover book, Cecil Beaton at Home: An Interior Life, is an intimate reveal of the extraordinary scope of work and life of undoubtedly the quintessential Renaissance man."
    duchessFare.com (Atlanta)

    "He is relevant today for the beauty of his art, his insights into contemporary life and figures from all walks of art and society in his period but also as a self-created personality. Beaton understood the power of the media long before it was popular."
    Architects + Artisans

    "If you purchase one design book from the large selection out this fall it must be Cecil Beaton at Home by Andrew Ginger with forward by Beaton expert Hugo Vickers."
    Architect Design Blog 

    "The houses of a legend are given proper due in Cecil Beaton at Home."
    Veranda

    "Extravagant décor, extravagant entertaining, and his flair of theatrically come together beautifully in this 368-page celebration of all that was Beaton."
    Flower Magazine 

    "In Cecil Beaton at Home: An Interior Life (Rizzoli, out October 25), author Andrew Ginger examines Beaton’s life through the spaces he furnished and inhabited, from a vulgar yet sophisticated “Circus Bedroom” to a red-white-and-gold drawing room."
    Allure.com 

    "‘Cecil Beaton at Home’ is a book that will have a long life with most readers. Once read, it will frequently be dipped into — and his phenomenal eye and memory mean that whatever he wrote, if not whatever he said, is there for good from the horse's mouth, from which any tyro designer can learn a lot, including that often forgotten fact that for creators liker Beaton the plums do not fall from the tree into the lap. They have to be worked for, and if I were asked to sum up Cecil Beaton in one word, it would be "worker" — and that, in my opinion, goes a long way towards excusing some of the candy-coloured frivolity, the bitchery and the snobbery for which Beaton is usually remembered"
    —Colin, McDowell, Business of Fashion
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