Ken Heyman

 

Silver Gelatin Print or Digital Inkjet Print

Artist Information:

Born in New York City in 1930, Ken Heyman first became interested in photography in high school. Later, during his student days at Columbia College-which were interrupted by a two-year stint in the army-his skill as a photographer grew, but still regarded photography as no more than a hobby. Then two events in college helped to direct him toward his career in photography. First, he sent off selections of his work to two national photography annuals and was pleased, indeed surprised, when both indicated they were eager to print his pictures-and did.

 But perhaps more important was his becoming a student of the distinguished anthropologist Margaret Mead. To fulfil a term paper requirement in one of her courses, Mr. Heyman submitted a photographic essay that interested the famous professor. Out of this began a friendship and collaboration that continued for more than twenty years.

 Their first collaboration began shortly after his graduation from Columbia in 1956, when she invited him to go with her to take pictures in Bali. Other field trips followed: some with Mead and others where he went alone. Since then, ken Heyman has photographed in more than sixty countries. These photographs have appeared in major exhibits and in two books co-authored with Margaret Mead: Family (1965) and World Enough (1976).

 Ken Heyman has done photographic assignments for many magazines, including Life. He has worked for the U.S. Information Agency, photographing Alliance for Progress projects in Latin America, and for several photographic agencies, including Rapho Guillumette Agency and Magnum.

 Shows of Mr. Heyman's work have been held at the Museum of Modern Art (1963), the Hallmark Gallery (1965), The International Center for Photography in New York City (1976), The Zabriskie Gallery in Paris (1995). Ken Heyman's work has brought him a number of awards including "The World Understanding award," considered to be one of the top awards in photography. It is given "to honor the photographer whose work has contributed most to a better understanding among the world's people."

 Ken Heyman has done many books in addition to Family and World Enough. His recent works includes twenty-two books for children written by Ann Morris. The multicultural perspective in these acclaimed books reflects Heyman's varied experience and his ability to sensitively interpret the human condition.

A New York Times Article on Leonard Bernstein featuring Ken Heyman’s photography.

Ken Heyman Talking Points

Ken was Margaret Mead's photographer for 20 years, creating images to accompany her anthropological studies, and traveling with her to Bali and many other places. These photographs have appeared in major exhibits, and their collaboration resulted in the co-authoring of two books between them, World Enough in 1965 and Family, in 1976.  Of Ken's work, Dr. Mead said "Ken photographs relationships"

Ken completed over 150 assignments for LIFE Magazine, was a full member of Magnum, and has photographed in over 60 countries.   His work is in 50 museums worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art where he was invited personally to be represented in their collections by Edward Steichen. 

Ken has published more books than any living photographer, 46 in all, including 22 children's books.  The multicultural perspective in these acclaimed books reflects Heyman's varied experience and his ability to sensitively interpret the human condition.

Some of his most notable books include The Private World of Leonard Bernstein, 1968, and Pop Art, 1965, which documented the work of the major pop artists.    His 1966 book, This America, documented Lyndon Johnson's Great Society programs and is the only book done in collaboration with a sitting US President.  

Shows of Ken's work have been held at the Museum of Modern Art (1963), the Hallmark Gallery (1965), The International Center for Photography in New York City (1976), The Zabriskie Gallery in Paris (1995) and The Museum of Natural History (2001). 

His exhibit "Being Human" a 50 year retrospective in 2009,  received a National Endowment of the Arts American Masterpieces Visual Arts Touring Grant, the only photographer to be so honored.  He is also the recipient of the Nikon World Understanding Award. 

He has photographed countless notables including Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Mother Theresa, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Charlie Chaplin and many others.