Giraffes in Mirage on the Taru Desert, Kenya, 1960 (later imp)
Known for collage work combining photographs and journals, Peter Beard, “well known for his handsome looks,” documents his urbane lifestyle that includes African travels, especially endangered African elephants, association with Hollywood celebrities, the New York art scene and insider relationships during the Kennedy administration. Peter Beard’s work reflects his relationships with notables such as Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Jackie Onassis and supermodels such as his first wife, Cheryl Tiegs.
Page after page of Peter Beard’s work “is covered with photographs of women, transcribed telephone messages, marginalia in India ink, clippings from the daily newspapers, dried leaves and insects, old sepia-toned photographs, drawings of animals and people by Kikuyu artists, quotes by Joseph Conrad, found objects, images of decaying elephant carcasses, and sometimes, Beard’s own blood.”
From childhood, Peter Beard has done collage work and kept diaries. In 1975, he had his first art exhibition, which was in New York City at the Blum Helman Gallery and since then his creativity has received much public attention.
Peter Beard is a graduate of Yale University with a degree in art history. Of great inspiration to him is the book Out of Africa by Karen Blixen. He became a friend of Blixen, whom he met in Denmark, and in 1955, took his first trip to Africa. He later bought a 43 acre farm in Kenya adjacent to Blixen’s land. Peter Beard is married to Hajma Khanum, and has a daughter, Zara, for whom he has written a book: Zara’s Tales.
Helping to support his extensive travels and lifestyle is a trust fund from his great-grandfather, James J. Hill, founder of the Great Northern Railway. Hill’s great interest in the arts as well as the fine art collection he amassed have also had great influence on Peter Beard.
“Peter Hill Beard”, Wikipedia
Biography from the Archives of AskART