Peter Beard

In 1955, Peter Beard took his first trip to Kenya, and it changed the course of his life. His focus of study at Yale switched from Pre-Med to Art History as he came to the conclusion that he needed to help humanity, rather than specific individuals, through his life’s work. He spent his last year of school in Kenya, and instead of completing a final thesis, he mailed in his diaries. In the years since, he has traveled back and forth from Nairobi, where he owns a home called Hog Ranch, and New York, photographing either wildlife or fashion depending on his location.

 

Through his art, Beard has expressed his distress at the dwindling population of elephants and black rhinos, documenting their demise in his book The End of the Game. He often accompanies his stunning photographs with mixed media collage, using colorful ink, hand-written text, and even sometimes his own blood to convey his message.

This work, titled Elephant Family/Buffalo Springs, centers around two large images of a herd of elephants, including young babies. Surrounding the images are small prints of a variety of images—bones of dead elephants, other wildlife, African natives, newspaper clippings, and diary entries. Below the main image is a hand-written quote from Sir Alfred Pease that he wrote in a letter to Teddy Roosevelt, which was featured in Beard’s updated edition of The End of the Game: The Last Word from Paradise.