Beaton exhibition for diamond jubilee

Queen Elizabeth II with Prince Andrew  as photographed by Cecil Beaton in 1960.
Queen Elizabeth II with Prince Andrew as photographed by Cecil Beaton in 1960.

DUNDEE is to be the first location to host the V&A’s exhibition of portraits of Her Majesty The Queen by photographer Cecil Beaton, to celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Presenting highlights of the V&A’s archive of Beaton’s royal photography, Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration will depict The Queen in her roles as princess, monarch and mother.

The exhibition will run at The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum, from Friday September 30 to Sunday, January 8.

It is the first in a series of partnership projects between The McManus and the V&A, as part of the pre-opening programme for the V&A at Dundee.

The images in the exhibition depict The Queen and Royal Family, contrasting highly staged state occasions with intimate family moments.

The exhibition charts how the representation of the Royal Family has changed and also examines Beaton’s working methods, styles and approaches, revealing him as one of the 20th century’s masters of photography.

Celebrated photographer, designer and avid diarist, Beaton’s royal portraits were among the most widely published photographs of the 20th century. The exhibition explores Beaton’s long relationship with Queen Elizabeth II, who was a teenage princess when she first sat for Beaton in 1942. Over the next three decades, Beaton photographed The Queen on many significant occasions including her Coronation Day.

The exhibition in Dundee will feature over 60 items, from wartime photographs of Princess Elizabeth with her family, to tender images of The Queen with her own young children and official portraits that convey the magnitude of her role as Britain’s monarch. It will show elegant and highly-staged photographs alongside informal moments of the royal family at home, interspersed with film and radio footage from the time.

An expanded exhibition will be hosted at the V&A in London next year and will tour to Leeds City Museum, Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery and Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle.