WASHINGTON (Sept. 13, 2013)—“Women of Vision: National Geographic Photographers on Assignment” will kick off a three-year, multi-city tour when it opens at the National Geographic Museum on Thursday, Oct. 10. Highlighting the influential photography of 11 award-winning female photojournalists, the traveling exhibition is sponsored by The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC) and will be in Washington until March 9, 2014.
“Women of Vision” features nearly 100 photographs, including moving depictions of far-flung cultures, compelling illustrations of conceptual topics such as memory and teenage brain chemistry, and arresting images of social issues like child marriage and 21st-century slavery. In addition to the photographs, visitors will have an opportunity to learn how National Geographic magazine (NGM) picture editors work closely with the photographers to select images and tell a story. Video vignettes will present first-person accounts that reveal the photographers’ individual styles, passions and approaches to their craft.
All the photographers featured in the exhibition will be at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 10, joining journalist Ann Curry for a panel discussion on the power of photography and the many people and places represented in their assignment work. The event will be live-streamed on NationalGeographic.com. Curry also wrote the foreword to the exhibition’s companion book, “Women of Vision: National Geographic Photographers on Assignment,” along with National Geographic magazine Editor in Chief Chris Johns. The book will be available in the National Geographic Museum Store.
“For the last decade, some of our most powerful stories have been produced by a new generation of photojournalists who are women. These women are as different as the places and the subjects they have covered, but they all share the same passion and commitment to storytelling that has come to define National Geographic,” said Kathryn Keane, vice president of National Geographic Exhibitions. “As National Geographic continues its yearlong 125th anniversary celebration, the exhibition reaffirms the Society’s position as a respected leader in the field of photography.”
“The stories portrayed within the ‘Women of Vision’ exhibition are both personally powerful and visually remarkable,” said Michael N. Harreld, regional president of PNC Bank. “‘Women of Vision’ celebrates the spirit, bravery and ambition of extraordinary photographers. It sends an indelible message of strength to the women in our lives.”
The exhibition underscores National Geographic’s history of documenting the world through photography and its ongoing commitment to supporting photographers as important and innovative storytellers who can make a difference with their work. This fall, in addition to “Women of Vision,” National Geographic will be celebrating photography in a number of other ways — devoting the October issue of National Geographic magazine to celebrating the power of photography, featuring National Geographic Live’s Masters of Photography series, and hosting FotoWeek DC’s opening party on Nov. 1.
“Women of Vision” was curated by National Geographic Senior Photo Editor Elizabeth Krist, who had the challenging task of choosing a selection of images to best represent the broad portfolios of the 11 extraordinary photographers:
- MacArthur Fellow Lynsey Addario is widely admired for her conflict coverage in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Darfur and the Congo. Featured assignment work includes images that document human rights issues, particularly the plight of women and families in conflict zones.
- Kitra Cahana explores important social, anthropological and spiritual themes. Born in Miami but raised in Canada and Sweden, Cahana earned her B.A. in philosophy from McGill University and her M.A. in visual and media anthropology from the Freie Universitat in Berlin. She has won a first prize from World Press Photo, a TED Fellowship and the ICP Infinity Award. Her work includes images taken on assignment for NGM’s feature on the teenage brain and culture in the United States.
- Jodi Cobb has worked in over 65 countries and produced 30 NGM stories, including the acclaimed “21st-Century Slaves.” Cobb was the only photographer to penetrate the geisha world, which resulted in her Pulitzer Prize-nominated book, “Geisha: The Life, the Voices, the Art.” She was also the first photographer to document the hidden lives of the women of Saudi Arabia and among the first to travel across China when it reopened to the West. She has received numerous accolades, including repeated honors from the National Press Photographers Association, Pictures of the Year and World Press Photo as well as the 2012 Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism. Cobb was the first woman to be named White House Photographer of the Year.
- Diane Cook is a leading landscape photographer whose work is in numerous collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego; and the L.A. County Museum in Los Angeles. Cook often works collaboratively with her husband, Len Jenshel. Their NGM stories have covered New York’s elevated park, the High Line; Mount St. Helens; Green Roofs; the Na’Pali Coast of Hawaii; the U.S.-Mexico border; and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
- Carolyn Drake is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, the Lange Taylor Documentary Prize and a World Press Photo award, and she was a finalist for the Santa Fe Prize. She has spent years documenting the cultures of Central Asia and life in western China’s Uygur region.
- A Knight Fellow and passionate advocate for visual arts education, Lynn Johnson has covered a wide range of assignments for NGM, producing images for 21 stories on subjectsincluding vanishing languages and challenges facing human populations in Africa and Asia. Johnson has also participated in photo camps in Chad, Botswana and the Pine Ridge reservation. She has received several awards, including the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for Coverage of the Disadvantaged.
- Beverly Joubert is a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, filmmaker, photographer and co-founder of the Big Cats Initiative. Together with her husband, Dereck, she has been documenting the plight of African wildlife for more than 30 years. Her images have appeared in more than 100 magazines worldwide (including NGM), and the Jouberts have co-authored several books and scientific papers. They have produced more than 25 television documentaries, and their 2011 feature film “The Last Lions” reached more than 350 million people worldwide. Their films have garnered seven Emmys, a Peabody, Panda Awards and the World Ecology Award. The Jouberts were inducted into the American Academy of Achievement, and for their conservation work in Botswana they received the Presidential Order of Merit.
- Erika Larsen studies cultures with strong ties to nature. She published a 2009 story in NGM on the Sami reindeer herders of Scandinavia, an assignment which grew out of her own documentary work for which she lived and worked within the culture for over four years. Larsen received a B.F.A. and an M.F.A. from Rochester Institute of Technology and is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and a New Jersey State Arts Council Fellowship. Larsen’s photography has been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery and the Sami Ájtte Museum in Sweden.
- Stephanie Sinclair’s decade-long project on child marriage has earned global recognition, including three World Press Photo awards and prestigious exhibitions on Capitol Hill, at the United Nations and at the Whitney Biennial in New York. Her images also include scenes from Yemen and from polygamist families in the Fundamentalist Church of the Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
- A celebrated figure in the photographic community, Maggie Steber has worked in more than 62 countries and her images have earned several prestigious honors, including the Leica Medal of Excellence and World Press Photo awards. NGM has published her essays on Miami, the African slave trade, the Cherokee Nation, sleep, soldiers’ letters, Dubai and a story on the science of memory that featured a touching sidebar on Steber’s mother, Madje, and her struggle with dementia. Steber has worked in Haiti for over 25 years and has a monograph published by Aperture Foundation Inc. entitled “Dancing on Fire.” She is a member of Facing Change Documenting America, a group of civic-minded photographers covering important American issues.
- Amy Toensing began her prolific career covering the White House and Congress for The New York Times. She has created portraits of unforgettable people around the world while shooting NGM stories in Papua New Guinea, Puerto Rico, the Jersey Shore and Tonga. For the past three years, she documented Aboriginal Australia for a story that was published in the June 2013 issue of NGM. Toensing is also committed to teaching photography to kids in underserved communities. She has worked with Somali and Sudanese refugees in Maine and Burmese refugees in Baltimore, and she recently traveled to Islamabad to teach young Pakistanis.
The PNC Financial Services Group and The Washington Post will present the sixth annual FotoWeek DC Youth Photo Contest. The winning entry from the “Women of Vision” category will be displayed in the National Geographic courtyard in downtown Washington.
WTOP is the local media sponsor of the exhibition, providing features and promotion. WTOP afternoon anchor Hillary Howard will offer opening remarks at the Oct. 10 panel discussion.
Full details on the exhibition, including photo galleries and links to related NGM content, are available at wovexhibition.org. 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 ages 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 17thStreet, N.W., between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. For more information on group sales, call (202) 857-7281.
About National Geographic
Founded in 1888, the National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. With a mission to inspire people to care about the planet, the member-supported Society offers a community for members to get closer to explorers, connect with other members and help make a difference. The Society reaches more than 450 million people worldwide each month through National Geographic and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; exhibitions; live events; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 10,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.
This exhibition is supported by PNC and The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (www.pnc.com). PNC is one of the nation’s largest diversified financial services organizations providing retail and business banking; residential mortgage banking; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management; and asset management. Follow @PNCNews on Twitter for breaking news, updates and announcements from PNC.