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The show features images of celebrities and style icons from the 1920s – 60s, including Wallis Simpson, Coco Chanel, American heiress and philanthropist Barbara Hutton and Beaton’s sister Baba. It takes place on September 1, 4 and 5 in Sotheby’s location in Geneva, which specialises in sales of jewellery and watches.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Cecil Beaton Studio Archive being transferred to Sotheby’s. It comprises 100,000 negatives and 9000 vintage prints from the photographer’s personal collection. The Geneva show is one of a series of exhibitions of Beaton’s works being staged by the auctioneer this year, including a collection featuring Vivien Leigh taking place at Sotheby’s London (September 12-26) ahead of the sale of the actress’ collection.


Cecil Beaton’s photograph of Coco Chanel (1937) will be exhibited at Sotheby’s Geneva next month. © The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby’s.

As well as his pioneering work in photography, Beaton was an extensive (and often scathing) diarist and a designer of interiors and sets. Other recent exhibitions featuring his work include a loan show at Chatsworth House, Never a Bore: Deborah Devonshire and her set by Cecil Beaton, last winter and Beetles + Huxley’s selling show of his work earlier this year.