Taken at his property in Kenya, Hog Ranch, this photograph by Peter Beard captures the spirit of the people and the land that have been the focus of his long and renowned career.
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.