WASHINGTON (Feb. 5, 2014)—A new book, WOMEN OF VISION: National Geographic Photographers on Assignment (National Geographic Books; March 4, 2014; hardcover; $30), celebrates the ambition, spirit and remarkable careers of 11 award-winning female photojournalists. Each of the talented and visionary women — Lynsey Addario, Kitra Cahana, Jodi Cobb, Diane Cook, Carolyn Drake, Lynn Johnson, Beverly Joubert, Erika Larsen, Stephanie Sinclair, Maggie Steber and Amy Toensing — has created some of the most powerful photo-narratives published in National Geographic magazine in the past decade. The photographers are as different as the places and the subjects they have covered, but they share a commitment to and a passion for the storytelling that has come to define National Geographic.
The book begins with a foreword by NBC correspondent and acclaimed journalist Ann Curry. “These beautiful photographs have the power to stop time and document life,” she observes. “In them, we see our world today — and also, great love for our future. In WOMEN OF VISION, we are fortunate to experience these photojournalists’ insights into our world.”
Each of the book’s 150 photographs reflects unique passion, perspective and a lifetime of experience behind the lens. The images include moving depictions of far-flung cultures, compelling illustrations of conceptual topics such as memory and teenage brain chemistry, and arresting illustrations of social issues like child marriage and 21st-century slavery.
The book accompanies an exhibition of the same name that opened at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C., in October 2013. The PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: PNC) is the sponsor of the exhibition, which will tour in five cities through 2016. Its next stop is the Mint Museum in Charlotte, N.C., where it will open on March 29, 2014. Both the exhibition and book were curated by National Geographic Senior Photo Editor Elizabeth Krist, who had the challenging task of choosing images that best represent the broad portfolios of these 11 extraordinary photographers:
- Lynsey Addario, a MacArthur Fellow, is widely admired for her conflict coverage in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Darfur and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Her 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. 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 National Geographic magazine’s feature on the teenage brain and culture in the United States.
- Jodi Cobb has worked in more than 65 countries and produced 30 National Geographic magazine 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. Cobb was the first woman to be named White House Photographer of the Year.
- Diane Cook is a leading landscape photographer whose work is featured 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 National Geographic magazine 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.
- Lynn Johnson, a Knight Fellow and passionate advocate for visual arts education, has covered a wide range of assignments for National Geographic magazine, producing images for 21 stories on such subjects as vanishing languages and challenges facing human populations in Africa and Asia. Johnson has also participated in National Geographic photo camps in Chad, Botswana and the Pine Ridge Indian 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 and photographer whose images have appeared in more than 100 magazines worldwide, including National Geographic magazine. Together with her husband, Dereck, she has produced more than 25 television documentaries; 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 they received the Presidential Order of Merit for their conservation work in Botswana.
- Erika Larsen studies cultures with strong ties to nature. In 2009, she published a story in National Geographic magazine on the Sami reindeer herders of Scandinavia, an assignment that grew out of her own documentary work. Larsen is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and a New Jersey State Arts Council Fellowship. Her photography has been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery and Sweden’s Sami Ájtte Museum.
- 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.
- Maggie Steber has worked in more than 62 countries; her images have earned several prestigious honors, including the Leica Medal of Excellence and World Press Photo awards. National Geographic magazine has published her essays on Miami; the African slave trade; the Cherokee Nation; sleep; soldiers’ letters; Dubai; and the science of memory that featured a touching sidebar on Steber’s mother, Madje, and her struggle with dementia. Steber worked in Haiti for more than 25 years and has a monograph published by Aperture Foundation Inc. titled “Dancing on Fire: Photographs from Haiti.”
- 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 National Geographic magazine 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 National Geographic magazine. 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.
A tribute to the spirit of a forward-thinking generation of photojournalists who have created riveting experiences through the strategic and sensitive use of a camera, WOMEN OF VISION explores the realities of our world — and the depths of what it means to be human in the 21st century.
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The “Women of Vision” 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 United States’ 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.