Peter Beard is an artist, author, and collector. In 1955, at the age of 17, he went to Africa with Quentin Keynes, the explorer and great grandson of Charles Darwin, to work on a film documenting rare wildlife in Zululand, Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique, and Madagascar.

Beard entered Yale University as a pre-med student but pursued a diverse range of interests. While studying statistics about human population growth and the ensuing devastation that it would cause, he formed his enduring hypothesis: humans are, in fact, the main disease. He later switched his focus to Art History. In lieu of completing his senior thesis at school, he mailed in diaries from Kenya.

Beard worked at Kenya’s Tsavo National Park, documenting and photographing the ensuing distortion of balance that took place in nature between the people, the land, and the animals for his book The End of the Game (1965). In the second iteration of The End of the Game (1977), Beard documented the overwhelming process that occurs during a population die-off, as the park’s elephants and rhinos succumbed to starvation, stress, and density-related diseases. Beard collaborated with Alistair Graham on the book Eyelids of Morning: The Mingled Destinies of Crocodiles and Men (1973), and he wrote Longing for Darkness: Kamante’s Tales from Out of Africa (1975). Most recently, Zara’s Tales: Perilous Escapades in Equatorial Africa (Knopf, 2004) was written for his daughter, and Taschen has published several monographs of his work (2006, 2008, 2013).

Beard’s first exhibition opened at Blum Helman Gallery in New York, in 1975. In 1977, a one-man exhibition of his photographs, paintings, burned diaries, taxidermy, African artifacts, and books, amongst other things, was held at the International Center of Photography in New York. Beard continues to exhibit internationally.

Last Updated: January 9, 2017



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