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
St Pancras, London, 1935
Education

1948 Hammersmith School of Arts and Crafts and Buildings
1954-56 Military service in RAF

Resides
Lives and works in Somerset

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2021
Tate Liverpool, ‘Don McCullin Retrospective’, Liverpool, UK (Travelling Exhibition)
2020
Hauser & Wirth Somerset, UK
2019
Tate Britain, ‘Don McCullin’, London, UK
2018
Hauser & Wirth, Los Angeles CA
2017
Looking East, Galerie Folia, Paris, France
XPOSURE International Photography Festival - Sharjah UAE
2016
Looking Beyond the Edge, Église Sainte-Anne, Les Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles, France
Don McCullin: Photo London Master of Photography 2016, Photo London, Somerset House, UK
2015
Hauser & With Somerset, ‘Don McCullin. Conflict - People - Landscape’, Bruton, UK
Eighty, Hamiltons Gallery, London, UK
ARTIST ROOMS, Don McCullin, Shetland Museum & Archives and Bonhoga Gallery, Lerwick, Shetland, UK
The Observer Observed, Holburne Museum, Bath, UK
2013
Visa Pour L'Image, International festival of photojournalism, Perpignan, France
Don McCullin: A Retrospective, National Gallery Canada, Ottawa, Canada
2012
Don McCullin: The Impossible Peace, From War Photographs to Landscapes, 1958-2011, Palazzo Magnani, Reggio Emilia, Italy
Shaped by War, Imperial War Museum, London, UK
2011
Don McCullin, Tate Britain – Display, Tate Britain, London, UK
Don McCullin – Platinum, Hamiltons Gallery, London, UK
2009-10
Don McCullin – The Impossible Peace: Retrospective 1958-2008, C/O Berlin Museum, Germany
Don McCullin: In England, National Media Museum, Brighton, UK
Shaped by War, Imperial War Museum North, Manchester, UK
Shaped by War, Victoria Gallery, Bath, UK
2007
Canal Isabel II Museum, Madrid, Spain
Faith And Church: Portraits By Don McCullin, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK
2006
Africa: In Light and Shadow at the Atelier de Mecanique, Les Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles, France
2004
Don McCullin: Retrospective, Rome International Festival, Mercati di Traiano, Rome, Italy
2002
Don McCullin, Retrospective, Foam Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2001
Cold Heaven: Don McCullin on Aids in Africa, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK
Cold Heaven: Don McCullin on Aids in Africa, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY
Don McCullin, Photographies 1961-2001, Maison Europeenne de la Photographie, Paris, France
1999
Don McCullin, Images des ténèbres, Musée de l´Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland
1998
Don McCullin: Sleeping With Ghosts, Barbican, London, UK
1994
Don McCullin: Sleeping With Ghosts, Galleria Carla Sozzani, Milan, Italy
1993
Centre National de la Photographie (CNP), Paris, France
1992
Don McCullin - Le Chateau d'Eau, Toulouse, France
Don McCullin - Retrospektive - Museum Folkwang Essen, Essen, Germany
Retrospective, at the Palais de l’Archevêché, Les Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles, France
1981
Hearts of Darkness: Photographs by Don McCullin, ICP - International Center of Photography, Nueva York, NY
1980
Retrospective, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK
1979
Don McCullin: The Palestinians - Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK
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Selected Group Exhibitions

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

2017
Knighted in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to photography
2015
Honorary Degree (Doctor of Arts), Bath Spa University, UK
2008
Honorary Doctorate of Letters, University of Gloucestershire
2007
Royal Photographic Society Centenary medal
2006
Cornell Capa Infinity Award for ‘distinguished achievement in photography’
2001
Honorary Degree (Doctor of Arts), University of Bath, UK
1999
Kaiser Foundation Award
1994
Honorary Degree from Open University
1993
Erich Salomon Prize for ‘Outstanding use of photography in the press’, by German Society of Photography
1993
Award CBE
Doctor Honoris Causa, Bradford University
1978
Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society, UK
1965
World Press Photo Premier award for reports in Cyprus
1961
British Press Award
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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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