Photographer, artist, writer, and designer of scenery and costumes. Educated at Harrow and St John's College, Cambridge, 1922-5. Made his name as a photographer through portraits of the Sitwells. Employed by Vogue in London and New York. Published 'The Book of Beauty' (1930). Photographed the Duke of Windsor's wedding, 1937. War photographer, 1939-45. Designed 'Lady Windermere's Fan', 1945. Designed costumes for 'An Ideal Husband' and 'Anna Karenina', 1948. Worked on 'The School for Scandal', 1949, 'Quadrille' for Noel Coward, 1952, 'Turandot', 1961, and 'La Traviata', 1966. Designed costumes for 'My Fair Lady', 1956, and for the film version in Hollywood, 1963. His play 'The Gainsborough Girls', 1951 and 1959, was unsuccessful. Published 'The Glass of Fashion' (1954), and six volumes of diaries. Exhibited photographs at the National Portrait Gallery, 1968. Knighted 1972.
Includes correspondence, diaries, notebooks and typescripts.
Presented to the College by Beaton's literary executors, 1986.