Peter Beard

Iman at Hoggers, Kenya, 1984, 1985, executed later
Tsavo, 1965, Unique polaroid with blood and ink, 1998
Lion, 1964. Polaroid with hand-painting

Peter Beard (born January 1938 – died April 2020) was an American photographer, artist, and writer known for his striking images of wildlife, particularly in Africa. Born into a rich family in New York City, Beard developed a passion for photography and nature at a young age. He studied at Yale University, where he majored in art history, focusing on African art and culture.
In the early 1960s, Beard traveled to Kenya, where he began documenting the wildlife and landscapes of East Africa. He purchased a property in Kenya, which he named Hog Ranch, and it became his base for his photographic expeditions. Beard’s work in Africa led to a lifelong commitment to wildlife conservation and environmental activism.
One of Beard’s most famous projects was his documentation of the plight of African elephants, which culminated in the publication of his seminal book, «The End of the Game» (1965). The book highlighted the devastating effects of overpopulation and habitat destruction on Africa’s wildlife, particularly the elephant population.
Throughout his career, Beard’s photography was characterized by a unique blend of documentary, fine art, and collage techniques. He often incorporated found objects, such as animal bones, blood, and feathers, into his photographic prints, creating visually striking and thought-provoking images.

“He collaborated with Francis Bacon and Salvador Dalí, he made diaries with Andy Warhol, worked on books with scientists like Dr. Norman Borlaug, Dr. Richard Laws, and Alistair Graham, and toured with Truman Capote, Terry Southern, and the Rolling Stones — all of whom are brought to life, literally and figuratively, in his work.”[1] In 1975, while living in Nairobi, Beard spotted a beautiful university student named Iman. The photographer later brought her to New York, launching her career as a supermodel.
Peter Beard’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide, and his photographs are held in numerous prestigious collections. In addition to his photography, Beard was also known for his diaries, which chronicled his life and experiences in Africa.

In 1986 Beard began collaborating with Polaroid Corporation’s “Artist Support Program”, creating giant Polaroids of Iman, Khadijah, Magritte Rammé and others for the Polaroid Collection.

[1] (Status 10 July 2023)

Peter Beard
Taschen 2020
ISBN-10: ‎3836577429
ISBN-13: ‎978-3836577427