Addressing Images - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Addressing Images

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Documenting Fashion, Research Forum

Addressing Images

The Courtauld Institute of Art, Vernon Square, Penton Rise, King’s Cross, London

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Margot Fonteyn in Apparitions 1936

Margot Fonteyn, aged 17, in her leading role in ‘Apparitions’ 1936. Choreography by Frederick Ashton. Costume design by Cecil Beaton. Photograph by Gordon Anthony. Photograph from the Victoria and Albert Museum.


  • Niall Billings - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Organised by

  • Dr Rebecca Arnold - The Courtauld Institute of Art
  • Leah Gouget-Levy - The Courtauld Institute of Art
Open to all, free admission

Places are limited and will be available on a first-come first-served basis

In this Addressing Images we will examine photographs of British prima ballerina Dame Margot Fonteyn wearing a gown designed by renowned fashion photographer Cecil Beaton. The costume was designed for the 1936 production of ‘Apparitions’ by the Sadler’s Wells Ballet. We will examine these photographs alongside images of Beaton’s fashion photography as well as other dance and performance costumes.

Niall Billings received his BA in History of Art from UCL (2014-2017) and then completed his MA at The Courtauld Institute of Art with Dr Rebecca Arnold (2017-2018). His research focuses on twentieth-century dance and its relationship to constructions of gender and psychoanalysis. His MA thesis examined constructions of queer identity within the costumes and performances of Ballet Russes’ star, Vaslav Nijinsky. His work often explores the ways in which the dancing body interacts with perceptions of physical and mental health. Currently, he is a PhD candidate supervised by Dr Arnold and is researching the development of ballet in London during the interwar period.


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