"My Royal Past: Cecil Beaton and the Art of Impersonation"
McNay Art Museum,
6000 N. New Braunfels Ave., (210) 824-5368, mcnayart.org
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Thursdays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays, 12-5 p.m. Continues through June 5
Arguably best celebrated as a fashion and portrait photographer who brilliantly captured 20th-century luminaries Queen Elizabeth, Marilyn Monroe, Truman Capote, Pablo Picasso, Coco Chanel, Mick Jagger, the list goes on Cecil Beaton proved himself a Renaissance man during a career that encompassed everything from war photography to Oscar-winning costume and set designs. As a diarist, Beaton espoused a brutally honest voice that earned him the nickname Malice in Wonderland, courtesy of fellow multitasker Jean Cocteau. Deemed one of Robert L. B. Tobins quirkiest gifts to the McNay, a collection of black-and-white photographs Beaton published under the pen name Baroness von Bülop comes to light in My Royal Past, a spoof memoir that casts theater stars of the era (and even Beaton himself) in elaborate scenes exploring gender, identity, status and style. Also on view: Dressed to Kill: Glam and Gore in Theatre, an exhibition of costume drawings celebrating stylish seductresses and fashionable fiends of the musical stage.