A photo of a man with a camera that took his life and his family’s home is going on display as part of a new exhibition in New York.
Richard Beard, an Irish photographer who spent his life in New England, died in 2013 at age 69.
Beard was a founding member of the Photography Society of New England and was best known for a 1971 photo of himself posing in front of the burned-out home of his parents.
He was a longtime friend and neighbor of photographer Roger Adams and a longtime collaborator with his studio, the Adams Photography Collection.
The portrait was taken at the family’s New England home in March 1969 when a fire ripped through their home.
Beard said he and his wife were sleeping when they saw smoke billowing from the roof.
They were awakened by a large explosion and were told by a fire official that a person had died inside their home, according to an article in the Journal of Forensic Sciences.
Beard’s wife and children rushed to the house, but they couldn’t reach the bodies.
They went into the bedroom to find the bodies, but the house had been destroyed.
The couple were not home when the blaze broke out, but one of the children later told authorities that he saw his father’s body in a closet.
Beard later said he had not been home for weeks, but he had taken his wife to see her mother after they returned to the home.
He told investigators that he and the couple’s two daughters lived together and that Beard and his girlfriend had moved out after he was hospitalized for his bipolar disorder.
Beard died in the hospital on Jan. 5, 1970.