WASHINGTON (March 9, 2010)—The National Geographic Museum will open two new photography exhibitions this month. “Sacred Waters: Photography by John Stanmeyer,” opening March 13, will present images from around the world showcasing the spiritual significance of water. “Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species,” opening March 18, features photographs by Joel Sartore of North American plants and animals facing extinction. Both exhibits are free.
From the droplets in a baptismal font to the scattering of ashes on a holy river, water plays a ceremonial role for many people. For National Geographic magazine’s April 2010 special issue, devoted solely to the topic of fresh water, photographer John Stanmeyer traveled the world in search of the many ways different cultures relate spiritually to water. “Sacred Waters” includes 41 images from his travels, from offerings alongside the sacred Ganges in India to waterfall rituals in Japan, Laos and Haiti. The exhibit will be open through July 25, 2010, in the museum’s M Street gallery.
Legendary National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore has spent two decades recording species facing extinction around the world. More than 40 of these animals and plants are poignantly profiled in the exhibition “Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species.” The exhibition is drawn from the book of the same name (National Geographic Focal Point; March 16, 2010; ISBN: 978-1-4262-0575-0; $24), in which Sartore’s arresting photographs tell a sad tale of a harsh reality: For many species, it’s already too late. One of the featured species, the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit, went extinct while the book was being developed. However, the exhibit also profiles species that have fought back and seen their numbers rebound. “Rare” will be open through Oct. 11, 2010, in the lightboxes surrounding the museum’s 17th Street building. Sartore will discuss the images in a National Geographic Live lecture on April 20 (visit www.nglive.org for more information).
The National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., is open Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed Dec. 25. For information on the both exhibits, the public should call (202) 857-7588 or visit www.ngmuseum.org.