WASHINGTON (May 21, 2013)—Dive the oceans’ depths, roam faraway lands, climb to Earth’s highest summits and walk in the footsteps of National Geographic explorers, photographers, scientists and journalists whose discoveries have shaped our understanding of the world. “A New Age of Exploration: National Geographic at 125” is a visual and interactive exhibition that celebrates modern exploration and takes visitors back in time to encounter some of the most fascinating and iconic moments in the National Geographic Society’s 125-year history.
Sponsored by GEICO, the exhibition opens at the National Geographic Museum on Thursday, June 13, 2013, during the Society’s annual Explorers Symposium, a forum that brings together National Geographic explorers to share their latest discoveries and insights. It will remain on display in the Museum’s 17th Street gallery through June 2014. The North Face is a promotional exhibition partner and will be sponsoring fun giveaways and events throughout the yearlong event.
The National Geographic Society was founded in 1888 to expand and share geographic and scientific knowledge and the spirit of exploration that is reflected throughout the exhibition. Visitors will be introduced to many legendary and contemporary explorers who dared to go where others had not. From Jacques Cousteau’s revelations of life under the sea to James Cameron’s recent record-breaking descent to the floor of the Mariana Trench, visitors can interact with stories and images that have inspired, informed and entertained generations worldwide.
Visitors will enter the exhibit through an archway constructed from hundreds of issues of National Geographic magazine into a gallery where they can study the transformation of the cover over time. Next, they will get a look at the history of the organization including through an interactive painting depicting the Society’s founders. The galleries that follow are arranged along broad themes in science and exploration, including ancient civilizations, paleontology, wildlife, oceans and environment. Each section will feature vivid images and fascinating stories while examining the continuum of exploration from past to present.
A number of interactive elements will offer the opportunity for visitors to connect with exploration hands-on. They can examine a model of a bathysphere (the deep sea submersible used in early underwater exploration), test their knowledge of world geography and history through the iPad Atlas and a National Geographic Bee quiz, and explore the intricate habitat of a towering virtual sequoia tree. The exhibition will also share the Society’s tradition of cartography through an interactive featuring 40 maps.
A cast of a Carcharodontosaurus dinosaur skull, found by Explorer-in-Residence Paul Sereno in the Sahara, will greet visitors in a paleontology section. Also on display will be a historic, 11-foot, hand-painted globe, a Society icon that welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors to the museum for more than 50 years.
The exhibition will look ahead to the vivid future of exploration and offer highlights from the work of National Geographic’s Emerging Explorers and other visionaries beginning their careers.
The exhibition is part of an organization-wide celebration of the Society’s 125th anniversary, which includes special issues of National Geographic and National Geographic Traveler magazines, television specials on the National Geographic Channel, a 125th anniversary app, a special edition world map and a book, “National Geographic 125 Years.” Additional information is available at the anniversary hub www.nationalgeographic.com/125.
Explorer Birthday Parties will also be available for children ages 5-12 at the National Geographic Museum. Birthday party packages include a private tour of the “A New Age of Exploration: National Geographic at 125” exhibition, a hands-on archaeology project, a goody bag filled with gear for exploration for each guest and access to a private party room for two hours. Explorer Birthday Parties are available for bookings on Saturdays and Sundays between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. starting Saturday, June 15. Parents should call (202) 857-7154 for more information.
Also open in the Museum’s 17th Street galleries through Sept. 2 is “Real Pirates: The Untold Story of the Whydah from Slave Ship to Pirate Ship,” an interactive exhibition that shares the story of the Whydah, a slave ship turned pirate ship that sank off the coast of Cape Cod in 1717. “Beyond the Story,” a selection of unpublished images from stories featured in 2012 issues of National Geographic magazine, is on display in the museum’s M Street Gallery through early July.
The National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., is open every day (except Dec. 25) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $11 for adults; $9 for National Geographic members, military, students, seniors and groups of 25 or more; $7 for children 5-12; and free for local school, student and youth groups (18 and under; advance reservation required). Tickets may be purchased online at www.ngmuseum.org; via telephone at (202) 857-7700; or in person at the National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th Street, N.W., between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. For more information on group sales, call (202) 857-7281.