Peter Beard

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Peter Hill Beard
A photo of photographer Peter Beard at Hog Ranch in 2014 feeding giraffes
Born (1938-01-22) January 22, 1938 (age 77)
New York, United States
Nationality American
Occupation photographer

Peter Hill Beard is an American artist, photographer, diarist and writer who lives and works in New York and Kenya. His photographs of Africa, African animals and the journals that often integrate his photographs have been widely shown and published since the 1970s.

Early Life & Education[edit]

Born in 1938 in New York City and raised in New York City, Alabama, and Islip, Long Island, Peter Beard began keeping diaries as a young boy and making photographs, as an extension of the diaries, at the age of twelve.[1] In 1957 he entered Yale University with the intention of pursuing pre-med studies, only to switch his major to art history. His mentors at Yale included Josef Albers, Richard Lindner and Vincent Scully.

Inspired by earlier trips to Africa in both 1955 and 1960, Beard traveled to Kenya upon graduation. Working at Tsavo National Park, he photographed and documented the demise of 35,000 elephants and other wildlife, later to become the subject of his first book, “The End of the Game.”[2] It was also during this time that he acquired Hog Ranch, a property near the Ngong Hills adjacent to the coffee farm owned by Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen), which would become his lifelong home-base in East Africa.[3]

Art[edit]

Peter Beard’s photographs of Africa, African animals and journals that often integrate his photographs have been widely shown and published since the 1970s. Each of his works is unique, a combination of his photography with elements derived from his daily diary-keeping, a practice he continues to this day. Page after page of these volumes might contain newspaper clippings, dried leaves, insects, old sepia-toned photos, transcribed telephone messages, marginalia in India ink, photographs of women, quotes, found objects, and the like; these become incorporated, with original drawings and collage by Beard. Certain of his works incorporate animal blood, sometimes Beard’s own blood (in sparing quantities), a painting medium the artist favors.[4]

Beard’s first exhibition was at the Blum Helman Gallery, New York, in 1975. Landmark museum exhibitions have been held at the International Center of Photography, New York, in 1977, and the Centre National de la Photographie, Paris, in 1997. Gallery exhibitions followed in Berlin, London, Toronto, Madrid, Milan, Tokyo and Vienna. Beard’s work is included in private collections throughout the world.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Descended from distinguished American families on both sides, Peter Hill Beard is one of three sons born to Roseanne Hoar Beard and Anson McCook Beard, Jr. A great-grandfather, James Jerome Hill, was founder of the Great Northern Railway in the late nineteenth/early twentieth centuries. Having made his fortune in the railroad business, James Jerome Hill was a great patron of the arts and all of his heirs were exposed to and owned great collections, presumably having a strong influence on Beard’s interests in the arts and beauty.

Beard married his first wife, Minnie Cushing, in 1962; the marriage only lasted briefly. His second wife was supermodel Cheryl Tiegs, from 1982 to 1986. Beard has been married to Nejma Khanum since 1986. The couple has a daughter, Zara, for whom his book, Zara’s Tales,[6] was written.

Beard has befriended and in some cases collaborated with many legendary artists including Andy Warhol, Andrew Wyeth, Francis Bacon, Karen Blixen, Truman Capote, Richard Lindner, and Salvador Dali. He has also photographed many well-known people.[7]

Filmography[edit]

Year Film Featured Director Producer Editor Other
2009 The Making of the 2009 Pirelli Calendar Yes No No No No
1994 Montauk Diaries Yes No No No No
1988 Last Word from Paradise: With Peter Beard in Africa Yes No No No No
1980 Japanese Long Line Tuna Fishing No No No No Introducer
1979 Africa: The End of the Game Yes No No No No
1976 The Bicentennial Big Foot Blues No Yes No No No
1975-76 Longing for Darkness No No Yes Yes No
1972 Sisters (working title) No No No No Initiated
1963 Hallelujah the Hills Yes No No No No

Selected books[edit]

  • Beard, Peter (coming in 2015). 50th Anniversary Edition of The End of the Game. Taschen.
  • Beard, Peter; Beard, Nejma; Edwards, Owen; Aronson, Steven M.L. (2008). Peter Beard (Collector’s Edition). Germany: Taschen, 2006. (Art Edition) Germany: Taschen, 2007. (Trade Edition) Germany: Taschen, 2008 and 2013. ISBN 978-3-8365-3088-0
  • Beard, Peter (1965). The End of the Game. New York: Viking Press. Reprinted New York: Doubleday, 1977. Japan: Camera Manichi, 1978. Germany: Taschen, 2008. ISBN 978-3-8365-0530-7
  • Beard, Peter (2004). Zara's Tales: Perilous Escapades in Equatorial Africa. New York: Knopf. ISBN 0-679-42659-0
  • Beard, Peter; and Gatura, Kamante (1975). Longing for Darkness: Kamante's Tales from Out of Africa. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. ISBN 0-15-153080-7
  • Graham, Alistair, and Beard, Peter (1973). Eyelids of Morning: The Mingled Destinies of Crocodiles and Men. Greenwich, CT: New York Graphic Society. ISBN 0-8212-0464-5

Catalogues[edit]

  • Beard, Peter (1999). Peter Beard: Fifty Years of Portraits. Santa Fe, NM: Arena Editions. ISBN 1-892041-15-4
  • Beard, Peter (1999). Peter Beard: Stress & Density. Vienna: KunstHausWien, Museums Betriebs Gesellschaft, mbH. ISBN 978-3901247071
  • Beard, Peter (1998). Beyond the End of the World. Milan: Universe Publishing (a division of Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.). ISBN 978-0-7893-0147-5
  • Beard, Peter (1997). Oltre la fine del Mondo. Milan: Grafiche Milani.
  • Beard, Peter, and Caujolle, Christian (1996). Peter Beard: Photo Poche #67. Paris: Centre National de la Photographie, ISBN 2867541034
  • Beard, Peter (1993). Diary: From a Dead Man’s Wallet: Confessions of a Bookmaker. Japan: Libroport Publishing Co., Ltd. ISBN 978-4-8457-0791-1

Further reading[edit]

  • Bowermaster, Jon (1993). The adventures and misadventures of Peter Beard in Africa. Boston: Bulfinch Press, 1993. ISBN 0-8212-1907-3
  • Geldzahler, Henry (1975). Francis Bacon: Recent Paintings. Interview with Francis Bacon by Peter Beard. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Press[edit]

  • Cornet, Philippe (Aug 12, 2009). "Peter Beard et les annees 2000.” Weekend Le Vif L'Express (Belgium).
  • (Fall/Winter 2008/09). "A Stunning Journey into the World of Peter Beard", Taschen Catalogue.
  • Kulturzeit Website (Nov 12, 2008). Buchvorstellung in Kurze: Peter Beard: Art und Collector's Edition.
  • (Jul 27, 2008) "Libro Peter Beard: Una aventrua africana.” Publico (Spain).
  • Genson, Michel (Jul 6, 2008). "La fin d'une Afrique.” Le Republicain (Lorrain).
  • "La Vida es un Juego Salvaje" by Lola Huete Machado, El Pais Semanal (Spain), 1-Jun-2008
  • RandomHouse.com Dec 11, 2007. Zara's Tales.
  • JH (Apr 2007). "Wild at Heart.” GQ (UK).
  • Rossi, Alfredo (Feb 2007). Il Fotografo:"La fotografia? E la parente povera dell'arte vera." Corriere della Sera (Italy).
  • Aronson, Steven M.L. (2006). "A Conversation: Peter Beard on his personal history and cosmic philosophy." Peter Beard, Tachen.
  • Falck, Jacaranda Caracciolo (Dec 21, 2006). Fotografi artisti: "Africa per sempre." Espresso (Italy).
  • Roberts, Sophy (Dec 2006). “Travelista.” Financial Times: How to Spend It Magazine.
  • Edwards, Owen (Dec 2006). "Beard's Eye View." Smithsonian Magazine.
  • Abrahamsson, Carl (Dec 2006). "Ett Samtal Med Peter Beard: Om nagot, sa ar jap en escapist." Tidningen Kulturen.
  • Gill, AA (Nov 2006). "Wild at Art." The Sunday Times Magazine.
  • Powers, Bill (Oct/Nov 2006). "Where the Wild Things Are." Black Book.
  • Clarke, Brian (Oct 2006). "Wir, Dastier." Vogue Deutsche.
  • Geller, Maurice (Oct 2006). “Quintessentially Legendary." Quintessentially (UK).
  • Aronson, Steven (Jul 2003). "Out of Africa." Architectural Digest.
  • Enright, Robert (Autumn 2002). "The Consumate Fragmentarian." Modern Painters Magazine.
  • Lecorné, Isabelle-Sophie (Mar 2000). "Moi Peter Beard 63 Ans, Photographie, Aventurier, Provacateur." Gala Magazine.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Beard, Peter (2013). Peter Beard (Collector's Edition ed.). Germany: Owen, & Aronson. ISBN 978-3-8365-3088-0. 
  2. ^ Beard, Peter (1965). The End of the Game. New York: Viking Press. ISBN 978-3-8365-0530-7. 
  3. ^ Beard, Peter (2013). Peter Beard (Collector's Edition ed.). Germany: Owen, & Aronson. ISBN 978-3-8365-3088-0. 
  4. ^ Enright, Robert (2002). "The Consumate Fragmentarian". Modern Painters Magazine. 
  5. ^ Beard, Peter (2013). Peter Beard (Collector's Edition ed.). Germany: Owen, & Aronson. ISBN 978-3-8365-3088-0. 
  6. ^ Beard, Peter (2004). Zara's Tales: Perilous Escapades in Equatorial Africa. New York: Knopf. ISBN 0-679-42659-0. 
  7. ^ Beard, Peter (2013). Peter Beard (Collector's Edition ed.). Germany: Owen, & Aronson. ISBN 978-3-8365-3088-0. 

External links[edit]