Angus McBean 1904 - 1990
Angus McBean was born in South Wales on 8 June 1904, the son of a surveyor for the mining industry. After his father’ s death in 1925, the family moved to London where McBean developed an interest in photography. An initial career in mask-making introduced him to London’ s theatrical circles, and then to Hugh Cecil, the photographer, who hired him as an assistant. McBean then opened his own studio, and became well-known for his theatre photography. He photographed many of the West End’ s leading figures, in particular the actress Vivien Leigh, with whom he enjoyed a long professional relationship. McBean became celebrated for his creative, surreal photographs that often employed multiple negatives and strong, dramatic lighting.
After the Second World War, McBean continued to work as a portrait photographer, taking notable pictures of Audrey Hepburn (1950) and for the album cover of the Beatles’ Please Please Me (1963). He received support and admiration from other acclaimed photographers such as Cecil Beaton and David Bailey, and continued to work until his death on 9 June 1990.