Carol Beckwith (born July 10, 1945) is an American photographer, author, and artist known for her photojournalism documenting the indigenous tribal cultures of Africa, most notably in partnership with Australian photographer Angela Fisher. Between them, Beckwith and Fisher have published 14 books, and have had their photos appear in National Geographic, Natural History, African Arts, The Observer Magazine, Time, Life, Vogue, Marie Claire and Elle. They continue to exhibit and lecture at galleries and museums worldwide, including The American Museum of Natural History and The Explorers Club in New York City, The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and the Royal Geographical Society in London. They have also collaborated on four films about African traditions. Together they have received numerous accolades, including the United Nations Award for Excellence, the Royal Geographical Society’s Cherry Kearton Medal, two Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, The Explorers Club’s Lowell Thomas Award, and the WINGS WorldQuest Lifetime Achievement Award.
Carol Beckwith was born in Boston, Massachusetts, where she went on to attend both the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Goucher College in Maryland. After obtaining her degree in Painting and Photography, she won a traveling fellowship from the Boston Museum, which let her travel to other countries for the first time. She spent seven months in Japan, living in a Zen temple and studying calligraphic painting. She continued to travel through Southeast Asia and New Guinea, where she witnessed a “sing-sing”, a gathering of 90,000 Highland warriors, in Mount Hagen, and paddled up Chambri Lakes in a canoe, an experience she called “one of the most wonderful, and in a way formative, experiences in my life.”