David Alan Harvey

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David Alan Harvey
Harvey in Havana, 2017
Born (1944-06-06) June 6, 1944 (age 79)
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 was a full member of the Magnum Photos agency from 1997 to 2020 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 October 2020, Harvey's membership in Magnum was suspended for one year following an investigation into allegations that he had sexually harassed several of his female colleagues.[2] After a second private investigation into sexual misconduct claims against Harvey, the board of Magnum voted to remove him as a member. He resigned before the meeting of the entire Magnum membership regarding the matter.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Harvey was born in San Francisco, California and raised in Virginia.[4] 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.[5]

He completed his undergraduate degree at the Richmond branch of the College of William & Mary.[4] He moved to Missouri, receiving his graduate degree from the Missouri School of Journalism, University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri,[4] in 1969.

Life and work[edit]

In 1969 Harvey started work at The Topeka Capital-Journal in Kansas.[4] He has worked for National Geographic magazine and was named Magazine Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association in 1978.[6] He joined Magnum Photos as a nominee in 1993[4] and became a full member in 1997.[5]

Harvey's first book, Tell It Like It Is, self-published in 1967, documented the lives of a black family living in Norfolk, Virginia.[6] 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".[7]

One of Harvey's photographs of a father and daughter from Malaysia is included on the Voyager Golden Record.[8][9]

He is founder and curator of Burn, a website showing the work of emerging photographers,[10] launched in 2008.[11]

He is based in The Outer Banks, North Carolina[12] and New York City.[1]

Sexual Misconduct and Investigations By Magnum[edit]

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."[13][14][15] The accusations were made "on the basis of the tagging of some of the images."[16] The photographic series, entitled Bangkok Prostitutes, was taken by Harvey in 1989 in Bangkok, tagged a photograph of a topless girl both "prostitution" and "teenage girl—13 to 18 years".[2]

Following a Twitter thread by a photojournalist alleging that Harvey's sexual misconduct was an open secret,[2] Magnum carried out a formal investigation[17] to determine if there had been a breach of their code of conduct.[13] He received a one-year suspension from Magnum "over a separate allegation of harassing a female colleague" in October 2020.[2][13] A subsequent December 2020 article in Columbia Journalism Review detailed sexual misconduct allegations by eleven separate women including incidents where Harvey masturbated during video calls without prior consent.[2]

As of March 17, 2021, Harvey is no longer a member of Magnum. After a private investigation into sexual misconduct claims against Harvey, the Magnum board voted to remove him as a member. Harvey chose to resign on the March 16, before the entire Magnum membership could vote on the matter.[18][19]



Publications by Harvey[edit]

  • Tell It Like It Is. Self-published, 1967.[6]
  • America's Atlantic Isles. DC: National Geographic Society, 1981. ISBN 9780870443640.[21]
  • 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.[22]
    • Magazine edition. Edition of 5000 copies.[23]
  • Off for a Family Drive. Self-published, 2020.

Publications with contributions by Harvey[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Biography". Magnum Photos. Archived from the original on March 23, 2014. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e Chick, Kristen (December 21, 2020). "Magnum's moment of reckoning". Columbia Journalism Review. Archived from the original on December 21, 2020.
  3. ^ "Photographer David Alan Harvey resigns from Magnum after sexual abuse allegations". www.theartnewspaper.com. March 18, 2021. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Photographer David Alan Harvey Biography -". National Geographic. April 25, 2016. Archived from the original on August 23, 2017. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Adams, Tim (October 6, 2019). "The big picture: boy with balloons in Santiago, Chile". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d "Polio and Beach Parties Made David Alan Harvey the Photographer He Is Today". www.vice.com. September 4, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  7. ^ Martin Parr; Gerry Badger (2014). The Photobook: A History, Volume III. London: Phaidon. p. 141. ISBN 978-0-7148-6677-2.
  8. ^ "10 National Geographic Photos That Explain Earth to Extraterrestrials". National Geographic. April 27, 2016. Archived from the original on March 2, 2021. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
  9. ^ Murmurs of Earth: the Voyager Interstellar Record. New York: Ballantine Books. 1979. p. 94. ISBN 978-0345283962.
  10. ^ Sean O'Hagan (December 14, 2009). "The mafia and me: Mimi Mollica's portraits of Sicilian society". The Guardian. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  11. ^ "About Burn Magazine". Burn. December 18, 2008. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
  12. ^ "Capturing the magnetic pull of North Carolina's Outer Banks". Huck Magazine. May 4, 2018. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
  13. ^ a b c Beaumont, Peter (August 14, 2020). "Magnum reviewing archive as concerns raised about images of child sexual exploitation". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  14. ^ Bishara, Hakim (August 17, 2020). "Magnum Photos Will Reexamine Its Archive Following Outcry Against Child Exploitation Images". Hyperallergic. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  15. ^ "Magnum Investigating Archive over Images of Alleged Child Sexual Abuse". Artforum. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  16. ^ Beaumont, Peter (August 20, 2020). "Magnum suspends photographer over harassment claim". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  17. ^ "David Alan Harvey suspendu de Magnum pour suspicion de harcèlement". Libération.fr. August 21, 2020. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  18. ^ "David Alan Harvey Has Resigned From Magnum Photos". petapixel.com. March 18, 2021. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
  19. ^ Liscia, Valentina Di (March 21, 2021). "Magnum Photographer Resigns Amid Allegations of Harassment and Child Exploitation". Hyperallergic. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
  20. ^ NPPA: Honors and Recognitions - Pictures of the Year Competition Archived May 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ "America's Atlantic Isles (Goodreads)". Goodreads.
  22. ^ "(based on a true story)". Burn. May 18, 2012. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  23. ^ "The Magazine of (based on a true story)". Burn. May 4, 2013. Retrieved March 23, 2014.

External links[edit]