Don McCullin

Photo: Matilda Temperley

‘When human beings are suffering, they tend to look up, as if hoping for salvation. And that’s when I press the button.’—Don McCullin

Photographer Don McCullin has witnessed some of the most harrowing humanitarian disasters of the last half-century, having covered every major conflict in his adult lifetime. His assignments included the Vietnam and Biafra War, Northern Ireland, the Lebanese Civil War, Belgian Congo, the Russian invasion of Afghanistan and the fall of Phnom Penh. In pursuit of his work, he was wounded in Cambodia, fell from a roof in Salvador, was imprisoned by the Idi Amin regime in Uganda, and contracted cerebral malaria in West Africa. But in the course of his long career, and through his dedication to documenting global wars and conflict, he has become celebrated both as a master of black and white photography, and as history’s greatest war photographer.

His early professional career shone a harsh spotlight on the reality of post-war life, including the stark landscapes of the industrial north, the increasing unemployment and homelessness levels in the capital, and growing unrest across the country. For the last two decades, McCullin has turned to look at the land around him, namely the Somerset village in which he was evacuated during the Blitz. Often referring to the sweeping rural landscape as his greatest salvation, the photographer demonstrates the full mastery of his medium with stark black and white images resonating with human emotion whilst retaining the honesty and grit synonymous with his earlier works.

McCullin holds a Commander of the British Empire medal, and is only the second photographer to become a Knight of the Realm. Major exhibitions include: ‘Hearts of Darkness,’ Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England (1980); Barbican Center, London, England (1998); La Maison de la Photographie, Paris, France (2002); ‘Shaped By War,’ Imperial War Museum, London, England (2012); Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries, England (2017), a part of the Tate’s highly celebrated Artist Rooms. A major retrospective will take place at the Tate Britain, London, England in early 2019.

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Don McCullin

Biography

Print Biography
Born
London, 1935
Education

1948 Hammersmith School of Arts and Crafts and Buildings
1954-56 Military service in the Royal Air Force

Resides
Lives and works in Somerset, UK

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2021
Tate Liverpool, ‘Don McCullin Retrospective’, Liverpool, UK (Travelling Exhibition)
2020
Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 'Don McCullin', Bruton, UK
2019
Tate Britain, 'Don McCullin. Retrospective', London, UK (Travelling Exhibition)
Chateau La Coste, 'Southern Frontiers', Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, France
Hamiltons Gallery, 'Don McCullin. Proximity', London, UK
Fondazione Sozzani, 'Don McCullin. Photographs from the Collection of Fondazione Sozzani', Milan, Italy
2018
Hauser & Wirth, 'Don McCullin', Los Angeles CA
2017
Galerie Folia, 'Looking East', Paris, France
'XPOSURE International Photography Festival', Sharjah, UAE
2016
Les Rencontres de la Photographie, Église Sainte-Anne, 'Don McCullin. Looking Beyond the Edge', Arles, France
Somerset House, Photo London, 'Don McCullin. Photo London Master of Photography 2016', London, UK
2015
Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 'Don McCullin. Conflict – People – Landscape', Bruton, UK
Hamiltons Gallery, 'Don McCullin. Eighty', London, UK
Holburne Museum, 'The Observer Observed', Bath, UK
2014
Shetland Museum & Archives and Bonhoga Gallery, 'ARTIST ROOMS. Don McCullin', Lerwick, UK
State Library of New Sourth Wales, 'Don McCullin. The Impossible peace. From war photographs to landscape, 1958-2011', Sydney, Australia (Travelling Exhibition)
2013
International festival of photojournalism, 'Visa Pour L' Image', Perpignan, France
National Gallery Canada, 'Don McCullin. A Retrospective', Ottawa, Canada
2012
Palazzo Magnani, 'Don McCullin. The Impossible Peace. From War Photographs to Landscapes, 1958-2011', Reggio Emilia, Italy (Travelling Exhibition)
2011
Imperial War Museum, 'Shaped by War', London, UK (Travelling Exhibition)
Tate Britain, 'Don McCullin', collection display, London, UK
Hamiltons Gallery, 'Don McCullin. Platinum', London, UK
2010
Imperial War Museum North, 'Shaped by War', Manchester, UK (Travelling Exhibition)
Victoria Art Gallery, 'Shaped by War', Bath, UK (Travelling Exhibition)
2009
C|O Berlin Museum, 'Don McCullin. The Impossible Peace. Retrospective 1958-2008', Berlin, Germany
Science + Media Museum, 'Don McCullin. In England', Brighton, UK
2007
Canal Isabel II Museum, 'Don McCullin', Madrid, Spain
National Portrait Gallery, 'Faith and Church. Portraits by Don McCullin', London, UK
2006
Les Rencontres de la Photographie, 'Africa. In Light and Shadow at the Atelier de Mecanique', Arles, France
2004
Rome International Festival, Mercati di Traiano, 'Don McCullin. Retrospective', Rome, Italy
County Hall, 'Cold Heaven. Don McCullin on Aids in Africa', London, UK (Travelling Exhibition)
2002
Foam, 'Don McCullin. Retrospective', Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2001
Whitechapel Gallery, 'Cold Heaven. Don McCullin on Aids in Africa', London, UK (Travelling Exhibition)
United Nations Headquarters, 'Cold Heaven. Don McCullin on Aids in Africa', New York NY (Travelling Exhibition)
Maison Européenne de la Photographie, 'Don McCullin, Photographies 1961-2001', Paris, France
1999
Musée de l´ Elysée, 'Don McCullin. Images Des Ténèbres', Lausanne, Switzerland
1997
Barbican, 'Don McCullin. Sleeping With Ghosts', London, UK
1994
Galleria Carla Sozzani, 'Don McCullin. Sleeping With Ghosts', Milan, Italy
1993
CNP Centre National de la Photographie, 'Don McCullin', Paris, France
1992
Le Chateau d’Eau, 'Don McCullin', Toulouse, France
Museum Folkwang Essen, 'Don McCullin. Retrospektive', Essen, Germany
Arles Les Rencontres de la Photographie, 'Retrospective, at the Palais de l’Archevêché', Arles, France
1981
ICP International Center of Photography, 'Hearts of Darkness. Photography by Don McCullin', New York NY
1980
Victoria & Albert Museum, 'Don McCullin. Retrospective', London, UK
1979
Institute of Contemporary Arts, 'Don McCullin. The Palestinians', London, UK
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Selected Group Exhibitions

2022
Hamiltons Gallery, 'The Great and The Good', London, UK
2021
Hamiltons Gallery, 'The Best', London, UK
2018
Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 'The Land We Live In. The Land We Left Behind', Bruton, UK
2016
Hamiltons Gallery, 'Something For Everyone', London, UK
2015
Museum Folkwang, 'Conflict. Time, Photography', Essen, Germany
National Media Museum, 'Drawn by Light. The Royal Photographic Society Collection', Bradford, UK
C|O Museum, 'Blow-Up, Antonioni Filmklassiker und die Fotografie', Berlin, Germany
2014
Tate Modern, 'Conflict, Time, Photography', London, UK
Marrakesh Museum for Photography and Visual Arts, 'A selection from the Permanent Collection', Marrakesh, Morocco
La Venaria Reale, 'A Occhi Aperti', Venaria, Italy
Hamiltons Gallery, 'Masterworks. An Exhibition Of Works By Modern Masters Of Photography', London, UK
2013
The Contemporary Museum Honolulu, 'Decisive Moments', Honolulu HI
Brooklyn Museum of Art, 'Images of Armed Conflict And its Aftermath', New York NY
Corcoran Gallery of Art, 'War/Photography. Images of Armed Conflict and its Aftermath', Washington DC (Travelling Exhibition)
2012
MFAH Museum of Fine Arts Houston, 'War/photography. Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath', Houston TX (Travelling Exhibition)
Manifesta 9, The European Biennial of Contemporary Art, 'the deep of the modern; a subcyclopaedia', Genk, Belgium
Museo San Telmo, 'Guerra Y Paz: Una Visión Personal', San Sebastián, Spain
Holburne Museum, 'Art of Arrangement', Bath, UK
The Saatchi Gallery, 'The Sunday Times Magazine 50th Anniversary', London, UK
2011
Turner Contemporary, 'Nothing in the World But Youth', Margate, UK
Atlas Gallery, 'Moments of our Time', London, UK
2010
Maison Européenne de la Photographie, 'Autour de l'extreme', Paris, France
2009
Hamiltons Gallery, 'Something for Everyone', London, UK
2008
University of Brighton, 'Brighton Photo Biennial 2008', Brighton, UK
Hamiltons Gallery, 'Gallery Selections', London, UK
Polka Galerie, 'Polka Magazine (#2)', Paris, France
2007
Australian Centre for Photography, 'Contact/s:30, The Art of Photojournalism', Sydney, Australia
2006
The Photographers' Gallery, 'Antonioni's Blow-Up', London, UK
2005
Galerie F5,6 für Fotografie, 'Selektion # 1', Munich, Germany
2004
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, 'Art & the 60's. This was Tomorrow', Birmingham, UK
San Francisco Camerawork, 'Killer Shots. A Photographic Response To War', San Francisco CA (Travelling Exhibition)
2003
Catherine Edelman Gallery, 'Killer Shots: A Photographic Response to War', Chicago IL
Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, 'Les choix dCB', Paris, France
1998
National Media Museum, 'Young Meteors - British Photojournalism 1957 – 65', Bradford, UK
1996
CACT Centro d´Arte Contemporanea Ticino, 'Capolavori di fotografia della Fondazione Select. Gli anni '70', Bellinzona, Switzerland
1986
Cornerhouse, 'Human Interest', Manchester, UK
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Awards and Grants

2022
Lifetime Achievement medal at London Design Festival, London, UK
2020
Lifetime Achievement award at the International Centre of Photography in New York NY
2017
Knighted in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to photography
2016
Master of Photography – Photo London Fair, London, UK
2011
Honorary Degree (Doctor of Arts), Bath Spa University, UK
2008
Honorary Doctorate of Letters, University of Gloucestershire, UK
2007
Royal Photographic Society Centenary medal, UK
2006
Cornell Capa Infinitiy Award for Distinguished Achievement in photography
2003
Royal Photographic Society’s Special 150th Anniversary Medal and Honorary Fellowship, UK
2001
Honorary Degree (Doctor of Arts), University of Bath, UK
1999
Kaiser Foundation Award to photograph the victims of AIDS in Africa
1994
Honorary Degree from the Open University, UK
1993
Erich Salomon Prize for ‘Outstanding use of photography in the press’, by German Society of Photography
1993
Awarded CBE
Doctor Honoris Causa, Bradford University, Bradford, UK
1992
Erich Salomon Prize for Outstanding Use of Photography in the Press’, German Society of Photography, Germany
1978
Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society, London, UK
1965
World Press Photo Premier award for reports in Cyprus and Greece
1961
British Press Award, UK
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Bibliography

Artist's Publications

2018
McCullin, Don, The Landscape, Jonathan Cape, 2018
2016
McCullin, Don, 'Irreconcilable Truths', The Provocateur Press, Bath, 2016
2015
McCullin, Don, 'Don McCullin: The New Definitive Edition', Jonathan Cape, London, 2015
McCullin, Don, ‘Unreasonable Behaviour: The Updated Autobiography’, with Lewis Chester, revised edition, Jonathan Cape, London, 2015
2012
McCullin, Don, ‘Unreasonable Behaviour’, Guangxi Normal University Press, Bejing (Chinese Mainland Edition), 2012
2010
McCullin, Don, ‘A Day in The Life of The Beatles’, Jonathan Cape, London, 2010
2009
McCullin, Don, ‘Southern Frontiers: A Journey Across the Roman Empire’,
Jonathan Cape, London, 2009
McCullin, Don, Don McCullin Supporting the Freedom of the Press, 100 Photographs, Reporters sans frontières, Paris (French/English Edition), 2009
2008
McCullin, Don, ‘Unreasonable Behaviour’, Muses Publishing, Taipei (Complex Chines Edition), 2008
2007
McCullin, Don, 'Don McCullin in England’, Jonathan Cape, London, 2007
McCullin, Don, ‘Photofile’, Thames & Hudson, London (English edition of Photo Poche), 2007
McCullin, Don, ‘Photo Poche’, Lunwerg, Barcelona, Madrid (Spanish edition of Photo Poche), 2007
McCullin, Don, ‘Risques et perils’, Delpire, Paris (French edition of Don McCullin’s autobiography), 2007
McCullin, Don, ‘Un comportamento irragionevole’, Contrasto, Milano (Italian edtition of autobiography), 2007
2006
McCullin, Don, ‘Don McCullin Photo Poche n. 53’, Actes Sud, Arles (revised second edition), 2006
2005
McCullin, Don, ‘Don McCullin in Africa’, Jonathan Cape, London, 2005
French edition: ‘Don McCullin en Afrique, Éditions de La Martinière, Paris, 2005; German edition: ‘Don McCullin in Afrika’, Knesebeck, Munich, 2005
2003
McCullin, Don, ‘Don McCullin’ (introduction by Harold Evans, essay by Susan Sontag), Jonathan Cape, London, 2003
French edition: Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris 2001
McCullin, Don, ‘Don McCullin’ (small-format English edition), Jonathan Cape, London, 2003
2002
Howe Peter, ‘Don McCullin’ in Shootin Under Fire: The World of the War Photographer’, New York Artisan, 2002
1999
McCullin, Don, ‘India’ (introduction by Norman Lewis), Jonathan Cape, London, 1999
1994
McCullin, Don, ‘Sleeping with Ghosts’, (text by Mark Haworth-Booth), Jonathan Cape, London, 1994
1992
McCullin, Don, ‘Don McCullin Photo Poche n. 53’, Nathan/CNP, Paris, 1992
1990
McCullin, Don, ‘Unreasonable Behaviour’ (autobiography written with Lewis Chester); US edition: Alfred Knopf, New York 1991 (with text by Michael Herr); soft cover edition, Vintage, London 1992 and 2002 (introduction text by Don McCullin)
1989
McCullin, Don, ‘Open Skies’ (introduction by John Fowles), Harmony Books, London, 1989
1987
McCullin, Don, ‘Perspectives’, Harrap London, 1987
McCullin, Don, Shand, Mark, ‘Skulduggery’ (text by Mark Shand); pocket edition, Penguin, London 1994
1983
McCullin, Don, ‘Beirut: A City of Crisis’, New English Library, London, 1983
1982
McCullin, Don, ‘Great Photographers’, HarperCollins, London (introduction by Mark Haworth-Booth); Italian edition: ‘Grandi Fotografi’, Fabbri editori, Milano 1987; French edition: ‘Les Grands Photographes, Éditions Mondiales, Paris 1983 (introduction by T. Thérond)
1980
McCullin, Don, ‘Hearts of Darkness’, Martin Secker & Warburg, London (introduction by John Le Carré); French edition: ‘Images des Ténèbres, Robert Laffont, Paris 1981; German edition: ‘Die im Dunkeln, Paul Zsolnay Verlag, Hamburg and Wien, 1982
1979
McCullin, Don, ‘Homecoming’, Macmillan, London, 1979
McCullin, Don, ‘The Palestinians’, (text by Jonathan Dimbleby), Quartet Books, London, 1979
1971
McCullin, Don, ‘The Destruction Business), Macmillan, London, 1971; US edition: ‘Is Anyone Taking Any Notice?’, MIT Press, Cambridge (MA) 1973 (text by Aleksander Solgenitsin)
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Exhibition Catalogues

2010
McCullin, Don, ‘Shaped by War’, exhibition catalogue, Imperial War Museum, Jonathan Cape/Imperial War Museum, London, 2010
2005
McCullin, Don, ‘Guerra e Pace, Don McCullin a Ravello’, exhibition catalogue, Ravello Festival, Electa Napoli, Napoli, 2005
2001
McCullin, Don, ‘Cold Heaven: Don McCullin on Aids in Africa, exhibition catalogue, White Chapel Gallery, Christian Aid, London, 2001
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Museum Exhibitions

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Don McCullin
16 Sep - 9 May 2021
Don McCullin
5 Feb - 6 May 2019

Events

Fri 13 Mar 2020, 6:30
Somerset

Please note we have taken the decision to postpone this event. We apologise for any inconvenience caused, however the safety of our staff and visitors is our highest priority. We will be in touch with a full refund to those who have purchased tickets.  Dinner reservations…
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Thu 27 Feb 2020, 6:30
Somerset

Join us for an exclusive screening of the film ‘McCullin’ (2012), held to coincide with the current exhibition ‘Don McCullin. The Stillness of Life’ at Hauser & Wirth Somerset. The documentary film is a candid portrayal of Don McCullin’s life and work in photojournalism over the…
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Book Lab

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23 Jun—23 Jul 2018
Los Angeles

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Films

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Ursula magazine

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