Peter Hill Beard is a photographer, artist, diarist and writer. He channels most of his creative energy into his collage-work and diaries, which he began to compile in 1949 at the age of eleven. Peter Beard began keeping diaries as a child and after discovering a love of photography, used photographs to extend and enhance them. Beard read Karen Blixen's Out of Africa, which inspired him to travel to Africa in 1955. He took many pictures of the wildlife there and began putting them into collages and using animal blood and remains along with clippings to create his work.
In these works, he documents the history of his relationships with (among other things); Africa, Karen Blixen, the New York art scene, the fashion world, Hollywood, and the Kennedy administration. Page after page 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.
Beard's milieu consisted of Andy Warhol, Jackie Onassis, Lee Radziwill, Truman Capote, and Bianca Jagger who all lived and rented houses in Montauk and Manhattan, NY in the 1970s and 1980s. Beard also had a close relationship with the late painter, Francis Bacon. He photographed Bacon and was also the model for several of Bacon's paintings.