David Alan Harvey

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David Alan Harvey
David Alan Harvey in Havana.jpg
Harvey in Havana, 2017
Born (1944-06-06) June 6, 1944 (age 76)
Known forPhotography

David Alan Harvey (born June 6, 1944) is an American photographer, based in The Outer Banks, North Carolina and New York City.[1] He has been a full member of the Magnum Photos agency from 1997 and has photographed extensively for National Geographic magazine. In 1978 Harvey was named Magazine Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association. He is the founder and curator of Burn, a website showing the work of emerging photographers. In August 2020 and ongoing, his membership of Magnum was temporarily suspended while an allegation he harassed a female colleague is investigated.

Early life and education[edit]

Harvey was born in San Francisco, California and raised in Virginia.[2] He began photographing at age 11,[1] inspired by months of isolated convalescence as a child after contracting polio, looking out of a window on a ward as though through a viewfinder.[3]

He completed his undergraduate degree at the Richmond branch of the College of William & Mary.[2] He moved to Missouri, receiving his graduate degree from the Missouri School of Journalism, University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri,[2] in 1969.

Life and work[edit]

In 1969 he started work at The Topeka Capital-Journal in Kansas.[2] He has worked for National Geographic magazine and was named Magazine Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association in 1978.[4] He joined Magnum Photos as a nominee in 1993[2] and became a full member in 1997.[3]

Harvey's first book, Tell It Like It Is, self-published in 1967, documented the lives of a black family living in Norfolk, Virginia.[4] His two major books, Cuba and Divided Soul, are based on the Spanish cultural migration into the Americas, and Living Proof deals with hip-hop culture.[1] Martin Parr and Gerry Badger say of Harvey's book (Based on a True Story) that it "takes its place as one of the best of the more extravagantly designed photobooks at a time when extravagant design is making a comeback".[5]

He is founder and curator of Burn, a website showing the work of emerging photographers,[6] launched in 2008.[7]

In August 2020, the Magnum Photos website was taken offline after "issues were raised by two articles on the Fstoppers photography website, amplified on social media, which accused Magnum of promoting sexually explicit images of children, featuring nudity, and encounters with clients that the website suggested constituted a record of acts of child sexual abuse. [. . .] Much of the criticism [. . .] focused on a series of photographs by [. . .] Harvey from his time documenting sex workers in Bangkok in 1989."[8][9][10]. The accusations were made "on the basis of the tagging of some of the images."[11].

Harvey has since been suspended from Magnum "over a separate allegation of harassing a female colleague."[8] A formal investigation is being carried out within Magnum[12] because, if true, it would represent a breach of Magnum's code of conduct.[8] The agency, which has never expelled a member, will not represent Harvey or his archive while an investigation into the complaint is carried out.[8]

He is based in The Outer Banks, North Carolina[13] and New York City.[1]



Publications by Harvey[edit]

  • Tell It Like It Is. Self-published, 1967.[4]
  • Cuba. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society, 2000. ISBN 978-84-8298-196-3.
  • Divided Soul. London: Phaidon, 2003. ISBN 978-0-7148-4313-1.
  • Living Proof. Brooklyn, NY: powerHouse, 2007. ISBN 978-1-57687-403-5.
  • (Based on a True Story). Self-published / BurnBooks, 2012. Edition of 600 copies.[15]
    • Magazine edition. Edition of 5000 copies.[16]

Publications with contributions by Harvey[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Biography". Magnum Photos. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Photographer David Alan Harvey Biography -". National Geographic. 25 April 2016. Retrieved 2020-08-22.
  3. ^ a b Adams, Tim (6 October 2019). "The big picture: boy with balloons in Santiago, Chile". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-08-20.
  4. ^ a b c d "Polio and Beach Parties Made David Alan Harvey the Photographer He Is Today". www.vice.com. Retrieved 2020-08-22.
  5. ^ Martin Parr; Gerry Badger (2014). The Photobook: A History, Volume III. London: Phaidon. p. 141. ISBN 978-0-7148-6677-2.
  6. ^ Sean O'Hagan (14 December 2009). "The mafia and me: Mimi Mollica's portraits of Sicilian society". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  7. ^ "About Burn Magazine". Burn. 18 December 2008. Retrieved 2020-08-23.
  8. ^ a b c d Beaumont, Peter (14 August 2020). "Magnum reviewing archive as concerns raised about images of child sexual exploitation". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-08-19.
  9. ^ Bishara, Hakim (17 August 2020). "Magnum Photos Will Reexamine Its Archive Following Outcry Against Child Exploitation Images". Hyperallergic. Retrieved 2020-08-19.
  10. ^ "Magnum Investigating Archive over Images of Alleged Child Sexual Abuse". Artforum. Retrieved 2020-08-19.
  11. ^ Beaumont, Peter (2020-08-20). "Magnum suspends photographer over harassment claim". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-08-22.
  12. ^ "David Alan Harvey suspendu de Magnum pour suspicion de harcèlement". Libération.fr. 21 August 2020. Retrieved 2020-08-22.
  13. ^ "Capturing the magnetic pull of North Carolina's Outer Banks". Huck Magazine. 4 May 2018. Retrieved 2020-08-23.
  14. ^ NPPA: Honors and Recognitions - Pictures of the Year Competition Archived May 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "(based on a true story)". Burn. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  16. ^ "The Magazine of (based on a true story)". Burn. Retrieved 23 March 2014.

External links[edit]