Tea & Talk – Cecil Beaton, Famed British Photographer

July 12, 2022 @ 4:00 pm
$35, $30 for members or with advance reservation, $22 for students 22 and under

In his lecture on Zoom, Hugo Vickers, well known as a biographer, lecturer, broadcaster and an acknowledged expert on the royal family, explains how Cecil Beaton turned himself into an extraordinary figure. Vickers will speak virtually via Zoom from England on Tuesday, July 12 at 4 pm. His presentation will be followed by a tea at Ventfort Hall.

Cecil Beaton (1904-80) was a total self-creation.  Through the art of photography he rose to become one of the great observers of the Twentieth Century, few of the most interesting people of his era escaping his lens.  His portraits of the Royal Family and of the stars of stage and screen are legendary.  He also became a designer of costumes and sets for stage, screen, opera and ballet, an artist, a wicked diarist, an arbiter of taste, and a man who moved easily in many varied worlds.  As such he captured the passing moment and portrayed the great figures of the age in both photographic and pen portraits.

Vickers has published his own diaries about researching Cecil Beaton, entitled Malice in Wonderland – a fascinating behind the scenes account of his adventures with various sources, including the Queen Mother, Audrey Hepburn, Truman Capote, Stephen Tennant, Valentina Schlee, Princess Grace of Monaco and many more. He has written many biographies of 20th century figures, including Cecil Beaton, Vivien Leigh, the Duchess of Windsor, Princess Andrew of Greece, and the Queen Mother.  His book, The Quest for Queen Mary, sold 40,000 copies in various forms.

He is called upon to commentate on important state occasions, and at times when the Royal Family are in the news.  He has covered events from the first wedding of the Prince of Wales, the funerals of Diana, the Queen Mother and Prince Philip, and many royal weddings. The Financial Times recently described him as: ‘the most knowledgeable royal biographer on the planet.’ He lives in London and Wiltshire and has three grown-up children.

Tickets are $30 for members and with advance reservation; $35 day of; $22 for students 22 and under. Reservations are required as seats are limited. Walk-ins accommodated as space allows. For reservations call us at (413) 637-3206. Please note that all tickets are nonrefundable and non-exchangeable. Proof of vaccination and ID are required. The historical mansion is located at 104 Walker Street in Lenox. The summer series of Tea & Talks is sponsored in part by board member Lucille Landa and William Landa.