Noted Photographer Peter Beard Dies At 82, Body Found After Disappearance
Photographer Peter Beard renowned for his beautiful pictures of Africa and its wildlife, was found dead after he went missing from his Montauk, New York home on April 1.
On Sunday, about three weeks after the incident, his family confirmed the news on social media.
“We are all heartbroken by the confirmation of our beloved Peter’s death. We want to express our deep gratitude to the East Hampton police and all who aided them in their search, and also to thank the many friends of Peter and our family who have sent messages of love and support during these dark days,” the statement read.
“Peter was an extraordinary man who led an exceptional life. He lived life to the fullest; he squeezed every drop out of every day. He was relentless in his passion for nature, unvarnished and unsentimental but utterly authentic always. He was an intrepid explorer, unfailingly generous, charismatic, and discerning,” the statement continued.
“Peter defined what it means to be open: open to new ideas, new encounters, new people, new ways of living and being. Always insatiably curious, he pursued his passions without restraints and perceived reality through a unique lens. Anyone who spent time in his company was swept up by his enthusiasm and his energy. He was a pioneering contemporary artist who was decades ahead of his time in his efforts to sound the alarm about environmental damage. His visual acuity and elemental understanding of the natural environment was fostered by his long stays in the bush and the ‘wild-deer-ness’ he loved and defended. He died where he lived: in nature. We will miss him every day,” the statement concluded.
The East Hampton Town Police said on Sunday that authorities located “the remains of an elderly male consistent with the physical and clothing description of Mr. Beard” in Camp Hero State Park in Montauk. The remains are still awaiting identification.
Police were concerned Beard would be in need of immediate attention after he went missing due to his battle with dementia, a disease which affects memory and judgement. Dozens of police and firefighters participated in the research, using dogs, drones and thermal imaging equipment/
For more than half of his life, Beard documented life in Africa, from its people to its animals.
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I got to go to Africa, for the whole summer of 1955. An Englishman by the name of Quentin Keynes took me around- he was Charles Darwin's great-grandson. We started out in South Africa, filming black and white rhinos in Hluhluwe and Umfolozi parks, Zululand, and from there we took the train to Bechuanaland, which got renamed Botswana, and then on to Gorongoza Park in Portugese East Africa, and finally near Madagascar and Kenya.⠀ ⠀ 1) Photograph of Quentin Keynes Filming Rhino, a very dangerous situation, 1955⠀ 2) Aberdare Forest; Ruhuti River Valley, World Record Class Black Rhino (circa 47" – 48"), 1972⠀ ⠀ #rhino #horn #worldrecord #QuentinKeynes⠀ #endangeredspecies #endangered #Darwin #Africa #SouthAfrica #Hluhluwe #Umfolozi #rhinoceros #environmentalism #conservation #biodiversity #biology #ecology #eco #environment #environmentalist #environmentalscience #nature #savetheplanet #wildlife #AberdareForest #RuhutiRiverValley #Kenya #OntheOriginofSpecies #naturalhistory #Madagascar
He discovered model Iman on one of his adventures after he took a picture of her in Nairobi, Kenya, that made her instantly famous. In the ‘90s, Beard was trampled and speared in the leg by an elephant while photographing a heard on the Tanzanian border. He was friends with many important people of his time including Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon, Salvador Dali and Truman Capote.
His most recent display was at the Guild Hall Museum in East Hampton, New York, in 2016, according to his website.