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Peter Beard

Edition of 2,250
Hardcover in clamshell box with bookstand, 13.6 x 19.7 in., 41.18 lb, 616 pages
US$ 12,500
This edition is sold out. However, occasionally, copies do become available again. Please register on our waiting list so we can inform you if this edition, or anything similar comes up.
This enormous leather-bound opus presents Peter Beard’s life and work in Kenya in all its passion, adventure, and its forthright account of ecological crisis. It includes his expansive collages, reproduced as a group for the first time, as well as smaller-scale work and revelatory spreads from his diaries, magnified to show every detail of Beard’s meticulous script and drawings, as well as stones, bones, and other ephemera pasted into its pages.

Limited Collector’s Edition of 2,250 copies, each numbered and signed by Peter Beard

A Stunning Journey into the World of Peter Beard

Limited to 2,250 numbered copies, each signed by Peter Beard

“The most poignant are the ones of decomposing elephants where, over time, as they disintegrate, the bones form magnificent sculpture—sculpture which is not just abstract form but has all the memory traces of life, despair and futility.” —Francis Bacon on Peter Beard’s photographs

Photographer, collector, diarist, and writer of books Peter Beard has fashioned his life into a work of art; the illustrated diaries he kept from a young age evolved into a serious career as an artist and earned him a central position in the international art world. He was painted by Francis Bacon, painted on by Salvador Dalí, and made diaries with Andy Warhol; he toured with Truman Capote and the Rolling Stones, created books with Jacqueline Onassis and Mick Jagger—all of whom are brought to life, literally and figuratively, in his work. As a fashion photographer, he took Vogue stars like Veruschka to Africa and brought new ones—most notably Iman—back to the U.S. with him.

His love affair with natural history and wildlife, which informs most of his work, began when he was a teenager. He had read the books of Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen) and after spending time in Kenya and befriending the author, bought a piece of land near hers. It was the early 1960s and the big game hunters led safaris, with all the colonial elements Beard had read about in Out of Africa characterizing the open life and landscape, but the times were changing. Beard witnessed the dawn of Kenya’s population explosion, which challenged finite resources and stressed animal populations—including the starving elephants of Tsavo, dying by the tens of thousands in a wasteland of eaten trees. So he documented what he saw—with diaries, photographs, and collages. He went against the wind in publishing unique and sometimes shocking books of these works. The corpses were laid bare; the facts were carefully written down sometimes in type, often by hand, occasionally with blood.

Spilling out over the pages of this massive tome, Peter Beards collages are reproduced as a group for the first time at the size they have always meant to be seen, some as fold-outs. Hundreds of smaller-scale works and diaries fill the remaining spreads—magnified to show every detail, from Beard’s meticulous handwriting and old-master-inspired drawings to stones and bones and bits of animals pasted to the page. Available in both Art and Collectors editions, this opulent and beautifully crafted limited edition—complete with wooden stand—is a work of art in itself.

Features:
 
  • Comes with a specially fabricated wood bookstand
  • XXL-Format: 34.5 x 50 cm (13.4 x 19.7 in.)
  • Main book: 200 pages of diaries and 294 pages of collages + 5 fold-outs
  • Original essay by photo critic Owen Edwards
  • Companion volume: PB2 image index with captions for all images from main book, personal photos and early work of the artist, interview with the artist by Steven M. L. Aronson, a facsimile reprint of Beard’s 1993 handwritten essay from the sold-out first issue of Blind Spot magazine, extensive bibliography, and a list of exhibitions
  • All color illustrations are color-separated and reproduced in Pan4C, the finest reproduction technique available today, which provides unequaled intensity and color range
The artist

Peter Beard (1938–2020) began taking photographs and keeping diaries from early childhood. By the time he graduated from Yale University, he had developed a keen interest in Africa. Throughout the 1960s and ’70s he worked in Tsavo Park, the Aberdares, and Lake Turkana in Kenya’s northern frontier. A constant creator, Beard the chronicler photographed, wrote, drew, collaged, and assembled a history of his life experiences and our own.

The authors

Steven M. L. Aronson, a former book publisher, is a writer and editor. He edited and published Peter Beard’s book Longing for Darkness and wrote the T.V. special The End of the Game. He is the author of HYPE and the co-author of Savage Grace.

Owen Edwards has written about photography for more than 30 years for numerous publications including American Photographer, New York Times Magazine, and Smithsonian.

The editors

Ruth Ansel is an award-winning art director known for her innovative design at many of America's top fashion and cultural magazines since the 1960s. Ansel Design Studio (est. 1992) has produced international fashion campaigns and books with photographers including Peter Beard, Richard Avedon, and Annie Leibovitz.

Nejma Beard is the Executive Director of the Peter Beard Studio. Her spirit and experience are synchronous with Beard’s—having been born and raised in Kenya. This deep familiarity and a devotion to a place and a people formed their unique collaborative relationship. Primary to her work is a deep concern for the future of the world and a commitment to ecologic and humanitarian efforts.

David Fahey is co-owner of the Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles. During his 31-year career in the field, he has collaborated on over 45 fine art photography books. He is the co-vice president of the Herb Ritts Foundation and serves on the Photography Advisory Council for the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Peter Beard
Edition of 2,250
Hardcover in clamshell box with bookstand, 13.6 x 19.7 in., 41.18 lb, 616 pages
David Bailey

David Bailey

“Peter has always been Peter Beard. He is a unique, modern man, not seen since the likes the 19th-century explorer (not the actor) Richard Burton or the plant collector George Forrest. He is also a great image-maker, half Hemingway, half Finch Hatton. This leather book brings all of Peter’s magic into one very beautiful volume.”
Illustration: Robert Nippoldt
Peter Beard (Limited Edition)
Peter Beard
Edition of 2,250
US$ 12,500
Peter Beard (Limited Edition)