Friday, November 20, 2009


PETER TURNLEY graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in French Literature, the Sorbonne of Paris, and the Institut d’Etudes Politiques of Paris, where he received a graduate degree in International Relations. During the 2000-2001 academic year, Turnley was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He has also received Honorary Doctorates from the New School of Social Research in New York and Saint Francis College in Indiana.

Peter Turnley’s photographs have graced the cover of NEWSWEEK over 40 times. In addition to working as a contract photographer for that publication from 1984-2001, Turnley’s photographs frequently appear in international magazines such as STERN, PARIS MATCH, GEO, LIFE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, THE LONDON SUNDAY TIMES, VSD, LE FIGARO, LE MONDE, and DOUBLETAKE.

During the past twenty years, Peter Turnley has covered nearly every major news event of international significance. He has photographed world conflicts in the Balkans (Bosnia), Somalia, Rwanda, South Africa, Chechnya, Haiti, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq (2003), the Gulf War (1991), and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Turnley has maintained an on-going commitment to document the plight of the major refugee populations of the world. He has been a witness to many of the defining, geo-political moments of the past quarter century: the fall of the Berlin Wall, the revolutions in Eastern Europe in 1989, the end of communism in the Soviet Union, the regimes of Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and Putin; Nelson Mandela’s release from prison after 27 years, and the end of apartheid in South Africa. Peter Turnley was also present at “Ground Zero” in New York City the night of September 11, 2001.

Political, cultural, and religious leaders who influenced the course of world affairs and culture in the past two decades have been the subjects of portraits by Turnley. These include Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Lady Diana Spencer, Pope John-Paul II, Yassir Arafat, Gerhard Schröder, Jacques Chirac, Vladimir Putin, Boris Yeltsin, Fidel Castro, Francois Mitterand, Hosni Mubarak, Muammar Quadaffi, Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton, George Bush Sr. and Ronald Reagan.

Turnley has conceived each step of his photographic career as part of a larger whole; an on-going photographic expression of the key moments of history and a humanistic view of the “Family of Man”.

Turnley’s photographs have been published the world-over and have won international awards including the Overseas Press Club Award for Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad, numerous awards and citations from World Press Photo, and the Pictures of the Year competition of the University of Missouri.

Born in 1955, Peter Turnley has traveled to over eighty-five countries and made images that represent a timely and lasting vision of life in these venues. At the same time, he has continually photographed, in black and white, the life of Paris, his adopted home. The often tender, humoristic and sensual images offer a distinct balance to the stark challenges of his world of photojournalism.

Turnley worked as the assistant to the famous French photographer Robert Doisneau in his early days in Paris in the late 1970’s. Encounters and friendships with such great photographers as Edouard Boubat, Henri Cartier-Bresson, André Kertész, and Josef Koudelka, in Paris further influenced his vision. Peter Turnley has been inspired by a multitude of other photographers, both contemporary and predecessors. Among them is his twin brother David, a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer. He is grateful for support he has received through the years from the people of the photo agencies Rapho, Blackstar, and Corbis, and particularly grateful to have been mentored by the great photo agency director, Howard Chapnick of Blackstar.

Peter Turnley has published four books: BEIJING SPRING, MOMENTS OF REVOLUTION, IN TIMES OF WAR AND PEACE, and PARISIANS. His photographs have been included in scores of other publications including the DAY IN THE LIFE books from AFRICA, AMERICA, SOVIET UNION, ITALY, IRELAND, SPAIN, and HOLLYWOOD. Turnley also contributed to the book A PASSAGE TO VIETNAM, and A DAY IN THE LIFE OF THE US ARMED FORCES. His work also appears in PARIS DES PHOTOGRAPHES, and THE ART AND SPIRIT OF PARIS.

Peter Turnley’s photographs have been exhibited worldwide. IN TIMES OF WAR AND PEACE, the title of a major retrospective at New York’s International Center of Photography (ICP) showcasing the work of both David and Peter Turnley. This exhibition was also featured at L’ASSESSORATO ALLA CULTURA in Verona, Italy.

Turnley has also had major solo exhibitions at the AGATHE GAILLARD GALERIE in Paris (PARISIANS), and the LEICA GALLERY of New York (PETER TURNLEY IN BLACK

AND WHITE) at the BENHAM GALLERY of Seattle. Collector prints of Peter Turnley’s work are represented by Lee Marks Fine Art and the Galerie Agathe Gaillard in Paris. Collector prints are also available for purchase through

Turnley teaches workshops in Paris for the Maine Photographic Workshops. One is called the “Paris in the Spring Portfolio Workshop” and the other is a late summer workshop called “The Humanistic Traditions of Street Photography in Paris”. Turnley has taught at the Santa Fe Workshops and the Eddie Adams Workshops. During the fall of 2001 he was a Teaching Fellow with Professor Robert Coles for his class “The Literature of Social Reflection” at Harvard University.

Turnley’s corporate and commercial clients have included The Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Harley-Davidson, and Nike.Peter Turnley presently lives in both New York and Paris and travels worldwide for editorial, commercial, and corporate assignments. His life-long photographic archive of more than 25,000 images, and his most recent and on-going work is represented by Corbis and can be found on-line at

No comments: