David Hurn Archive

This is the extensive archive of Welsh Magnum photographer David Hurn donated to the Martin Parr Foundation in 2019. The archive contains a substantial number of photographic prints relating to the work of David Hurn, including vintage press prints, exhibition prints, book layouts, and a complete set of his photographs made in Wales. The projects covered in the archive include Land Of My Father, Living In Wales, Carvings And Controversies: Sculpture Exposed, Photographs: 1956-1976, Herne Bay, as well as press assignments such as, the Aberfan Disaster, The Beatles: A Hard Day’s Night, Churchill’s Funeral, and the Grosvenor Square Riot.

In addition to the photographic prints in the archive, a number of supporting materials are included such as; correspondence letters, project notes, book layouts, and paper records. Access to the David Hurn archive can be arranged upon request through Isaac – isaac@martinparrfoundation.org

For a full overview of the collection please read below:

– Vintage Material: The Beatles: A Hard Day’s Night, Aberfan, Grosvenor Square Riot, Churchill’s Funeral, Smash & Grab raid – silver gelatin press prints (83 prints)
– Complete set of Wales Photographs 1966-2014 – pigment prints (315 total)
– Land of my Father – silver gelatin proof prints and supporting materials (92 prints)
– Living in Wales – silver gelatin exhibition prints and supporting materials (94 prints)
– Carvings and Controversies: Sculpture Exposed – silver gelatin exhibition prints and supporting materials (73 prints)
– Photographs: 1956-1976 – silver gelatin proof prints and supporting materials (47 prints + Slide book layout)
– The Great British Seaside: Photography From the 1960s to the Present – pigment exhibition prints (20 Prints)
– Complete set of Herne Bay photographs – pigment prints (48 prints)
– Ephemera Collection – Letters, notes, and paper records.


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. Whilst a freelance photographer, he gained his early 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. He resigned in 1989. He has since been in constant demand to lecture and do workshops around the world.

In 1997 he collaborated on a very successful textbook with Professor Bill Jay, On Being a Photographer, since then the book has never been out of print.

It is his book, Wales: Land of My Father, that truly reflects Hurn’s style and creative impetus. It is a self-initiated project attempting to discover what is meant by the phrase ‘my culture’. It consists of observations on the remarkable changes taking place in Wales from 1970 until the book’s publication by Thames and Hudson in 2000.

David Hurn has a longstanding international reputation as one of Britain’s most influential reportage photographers. His prints are acquired by many leading collectors and museums. In 2016, David Hurn was awarded an honorary fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society.

He continues to live in, and work from, his home in Tintern, Wales.