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Peter Beard

Hardcover, two vols. in slipcase, 8.6 x 12.4 in., 10.10 lb, 784 pages
US$ 99.99
Photographer, collector, diarist, and writer Peter Beard fashioned his life into a work of art. His love affair with natural history and wildlife, which informs most of his work, began when he was a teenager. This extraordinary two-volume edition is an archival tour de force exploring Beard’s colorful adventures.

Journey into the World of Peter Beard

Love affair with natural history and wildlife

Photographer, collector, diarist, and writer Peter Beard 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.

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.

This extraordinary two-volume edition is an archival tour de force exploring Beard’s colorful adventures. Volume 1 collates his most important collages alongside 200 pages of diary entries, magnified to show every detail, from Beard’s meticulous handwriting and old-masters-inspired drawings to stones and bones and bits of animals pasted to the page. Volume 2 features an image index with captions for all images from Volume 1; personal photos and early works; an interview with the artist by Steven M. L. Aronson; a facsimile reprint of Beard’s 1993 handwritten essay from the sold-out debut issue of Blind Spot magazine; extensive bibliography, filmography, and list of exhibitions.
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 contributor

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.

The editors

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
Hardcover, two vols. in slipcase, 8.6 x 12.4 in., 10.10 lb, 784 pages
Peter Beard - Not available
Peter Beard
US$ 99.99
Peter Beard - Not available