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Peter Beard (American, b.1938)
LOT ID: 80267
Giraffes in Mirage on the Tarn Desert, 1960

Silver Print, toned gelatin silver print with ink
6 х 9.25 in. (15.24 x 23.5 cm.)
Signed, titled,dated and inscribed in ink
Lot description
Later Impression

Photographer and Africa enthusiast Peter Beard wonderfully captures the spirit of the land, people, and animals that he has grown so fond of in this vibrant lithograph with small ink designs, “Three Giraffes in Mirage.” Beard’s print of three giraffes crossing the desert plain eloquently reflects the animals’ beauty and grace that is articulated in Karen Blixen’s text, taken from a final caption in Beard’s “The End of the Game.” The caption reads, "A giraffe is so much a lady that one refrains from thinking of her legs, but remembers her as floating over the plains in long garbs, draperies of morning mist and mirage. Karen Blixen."

Attracted to the idea and process of personal preservation, Peter Beard (b.1938) began taking photographs at an early age, viewing them as an extension of his written diaries. Two years before starting at Yale University in 1957 as a pre-med student, Beard traveled to Africa where he was enthralled with the culture, landscape, and natural wildlife. It was this trip that shifted Beard's interest to art history, and he began focusing on his own art. Upon graduating from Yale in 1961, Beard began working with Karen Blixen, author of "Out of Africa," "Shadows in the Grass" and "Gothic Tales." The two traveled to Kenya, Africa where Beard worked at Kenya’s Tsavo National Park, photographing and documenting the rapid demise of the country’s wildlife, which he parlayed into "The End of the Game" books, published in 1965 and 1977.

Beard’s interest in Africa has been realized through numerous books, articles and his photographic work for over four decades. Along with his own work, Beard has collaborated with many artists, including Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon, and Truman Capote. His work was first exhibited in 1975 at Blum-Helman, New York, NY, with his first solo show two years later at the International Center of Photography, New York, NY. Since then, Beard’s work has been heavily sought after and widely exhibited throughout the world. In 1996-1997, a major retrospective of his work was held at the Centre National de la Photographie in Paris, France. His photographs have also appeared in exhibits at Michael Hoppen Gallery, London, UK; Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; The Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN; Galerie Kamel Mennour, Paris, France; KunstHausWien, Vienna, Austria; and Seibu Museum, Tokyo, Japan.
Giraffes in Mirage on the Tarn Desert by Peter Beard
  • Giraffes in Mirage on the Tarn Desert by Peter Beard
  • Giraffes in Mirage on the Tarn Desert by Peter Beard
  • Giraffes in Mirage on the Tarn Desert by Peter Beard
  • Giraffes in Mirage on the Tarn Desert by Peter Beard
  • Giraffes in Mirage on the Tarn Desert by Peter Beard
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