David Hurn

British, b. 1934

Born in the UK but of Welsh descent, David Hurn is a self-taught photographer who began his career in 1955 as an assistant at the Reflex Agency. While a freelance photographer, he gained his reputation with his reportage of the 1956 Hungarian revolution.

Hurn eventually turned away from coverage of current affairs, preferring to take a more personal approach to photography. He became an associate member of Magnum in 1965 and a full member in 1967. In 1973 he set up the famous School of Documentary Photography in Newport, Wales, and has been in demand throughout the world to teach workshops.

He recently collaborated on a very successful textbook with Professor Bill Jay, On Being a Photographer. However, it is his book Wales: Land of My Father, that truly reflects Hurn's style and creative impetus. In the last two decades of the twentieth century, Wales experienced a remarkable transformation. From a country with an economy, culture, and landscape dominated by agriculture and the heavy industries of coal, steel and slate, Wales has become a place where the mines, mills and quarries are closed - either for good or to be reinvented as mythical 'heritage' tourist attractions - and where the new industries are high-tech and computer-based. Hurn's book, a collection of carefully observed photographs, reveals both the traditional and the modern sides of the country.

David Hurn has a longstanding international reputation as one of Britain's leading reportage photographers. He continues to live and work in Wales.


1995        Arts Council of Wales Bursary
1993/94   Bradford Fellowship
1987/88   Imperial War Museum Arts Award
1979/80   U.K./USA Bicentennial Fellowship
1975        Kodak Social Photographic Bursary
1971        Welsh Arts Council Award


1994        Newport Museum, Newport, UK; National Museum of Photography, Bradford,
1986        Cambridge Darkroom, Cambridge, UK; Axiom Gallery, Cheltenham,
               UK; Stills Gallery, Edinburgh, UK                                 
1985        Photographers' Gallery, London, UK, National Museum of Photography,
               Bradford, UK    
1984        Olympus Gallery, Hamburg, Germany; Fotogallery, Cardiff, UK                               
1983        Olympus Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Palais des Beaux Arts, Charleroi, Belgium           
1982        Contrasts Gallery, London, UK; Olympus Gallery, London, UK;
               Malmo Museum, Malmo, Sweden; Palais des Congrès, Lorient, France                      
1981        Les Rencontres d'Olympus, Paris, France               
1980        Fifth Ave Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA; Sterling College of Art, Kansas, 
1979        San Carlos Opera House, Lisbon, Portugal            
1979        University of Idaho Museum, Moscow, Idaho, USA; University of New Mexico, 
               Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
1978        Galeria Spectrum, Zaragoza, Spain; Galeria Spectrum, Barcelona, Spain;
               Stadtisches Museum, Bochum, Germany; Northlight Gallery, Arizona University, 
               Tempe, Arizona, USA; Gemeentelijke Van Reekum Galerij, Apeldoorn, Netherlands; 
               Culturele Raad, Leeuwarden, Netherlands; Openbare Bibliotheek, Arnhem,
               Netherlands; Culturee Centrum, Winterswijk, Netherlands; Canon Photo Galerij,
               Amsterdam, Netherlands; University of Idaho, Moscow, Russia
1977        Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn, Germany; Galerie du Château d'Eau, Toulouse,
               France; Galerie FNAC Etoile, Paris, France; Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, 
               UK; Ecole des Beaux Arts, Angers, France; Stadtbucherei, Stuttgart, Germany 
               Rathaus, Augsburg, Germany
1976        Ecole Municipale des Arts Decoratifs, Strasbourg, France; Centre d'Animation 
               Culturelle, Douai, France; Rencontres Internationales de Photographie, Arles, France
1974        National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, UK; The Photographers’ Gallery, London, UK
1973        Bibliotèque Nationale, Paris, France
1971        Serpentine Gallery, London, UK


Welsh Arts Council, Cardiff, UK
Contemporary Arts Society for Wales, Cardiff, UK
Arts Council of Great Britain, London, UK
British Council, London, UK
Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, France
Galerie du Château d'Eau, Toulouse, France
International Center of Photography, New York, USA
Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, USA
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, USA
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USA
California Museum of Photography, USA
International Center of Photography, New York, USA
National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK


2005        Rebirth of a Capital, Cardiff County Council, UK
2003        Living in Wales, Seren, UK
2000        Wales: Land of My Father, Thames and Hudson, UK
2000        On Looking at Pictures, Lenswork Publishing, USA
1997        On Being a Photographer, Lenswork Publishing, USA
1979        David Hurn: Photographs 1956-1976, Arts Council of UK, UK