Peter Beard (American, 1938-2020)
Also known as: Beard, Peter Hill; Peter Hill BeardBirth Place: New York, NY USA
Who is photographer Peter Beard?
Peter Beard was an American artist, writer, and photographer whose photo essays of the African safari brought him widespread fame, from naturalists and art collectors alike. Inspired after college by Karen Blixen’s Out of Africa, Beard spent several decades in Kenya and the surrounding area helping to document the rampant destruction poaching created in these diverse ecosystems. He bought the Hog Ranch in Kenya sometime after the publication of The End of the Game (1963), a large piece of property in the Ngong Hills that became his home whenever he was in East Africa.
Beard’s work had numerous audiences. His first exhibition was at the Blum Helman Gallery in New York City in 1975. From there he toured exhibitions to Paris, Berlin, London, Milan, and Tokyo. He established the Peter Beard Studio and Archive, which preserves and sells Beard’s work. It acts as a repository for his written and visual materials -- not just his African travels but also journals and his work as a commercial photographer. He produced and directed several documentary films during his lifetime. He died in 2020.
What kind of art does Peter Beard make?
Peter Beard was a commercial photographer and travel documentarian who is best known for his mixed media pieces which incorporate photos, diaries, leaves, and even newspaper clippings. Beard has also been known to incorporate animal blood - and his own - in paintings. For several years Beard worked as a freelance photographer, often capturing images for Vogue and Elle. Overwhelmingly, Beard’s work is about conservation and documentation of the natural world -- specifically East Africa. His photographs of the nearly 35,000 elephants killed during the early 1960s became the basis for his first book, The End of the Game. This helped popularize the young artist’s work with the general public.
How did painter Peter Beard get started?
Peter Beard was born in New York City in 1938. The son of the heir to the Great Northern Railway fortune, Beard was taught from an early age to value art. He studied at the prestigious Pomfret School and entered Yale in 1957 as a pre-med student. He eventually changed his major to art history, studying with famed visual artists Josef Albers, Vincent Scully, and Richard Linder. Inspired by the work of Karen Blixen, Beard moved to Kenya shortly after graduation, It was that trip that gave him the inspiration to create his first book. The End of the Game helped catapult the photographer to fame and served as a template for many of his future books.
How much are Peter Beard photographs worth?
Peter Beard is extremely popular with several different audiences, his photos can sell for anywhere from a few thousand dollars on the low end, to upwards of $600,000 on the high end. The most ever paid for a Peter Beard photograph at auction was $672,500 for the piece Orphaned Cheetah Cubs, Mweiga, near Nyeri, Kenta, March 1968 (2017) which sold on October 10th, 2017. It is by far his highest-selling piece (over $200,000 higher than his second-highest selling piece), performing at 34% over the high estimate.
Where to buy Peter Beard photographs for sale?
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How to value Peter Beard photographs?
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