MCCUL72655, MCCUL73056, MCCUL73057, MCCUL73058, MCCUL73059 The Sudan and the place is called Meroe, 2012, The Sudan and the place is called Meroë, 2012

Don McCullin

Photo: Matilda Temperley

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.


Born St Pancras, London, 1935


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

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

Awards and Grants

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

2015 Honorary Degree (Doctor of Arts), Bath Spa University, UK

2008 Honorary Doctorate of Letters, University of

2007 Royal Photographic Society Centenary medal

2006 Cornell Capa Infinity Award for ‘distinguished achievement in photography’

2003 Royal Photographic Society’s Special 150th Anniversary Medal and Honorary Fellowship

2001 Honorary Degree (Doctor of Arts), University of Bath, UK

1999 Kaiser Foundation Award

1994 Honorary Degree from Open University

1993 Award CBE
Erich Salomon Prize for ‘Outstanding use of photography in the press’, by German Society of Photography
Doctor Honoris Causa, Bradford University

1977 Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society, UK

1964 World Press Photo Premier award for reports in Cyprus

1961 British Press Award


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)

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

Selected Images

West Hartlepool, men gathering coal dust to sell

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Gallery Exhibitions

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23 Jun – 23 Sep 2018, Los Angeles

Museum Exhibitions


16 Sep 2020 – 5 Sep 2021

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5 Feb – 6 May 2019

Book Lab

23 Jun – 23 Jul 2018

Don McCullin Book Lab

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