A new photography exhibition, “Machu Picchu: A Lost City Uncovered, Photographs from the Hiram Bingham Expeditions 1911-15,” will open at the National Geographic Museum this month. The exhibition showcases photographs from Bingham’s expeditions to map and study the Inca site and will run from Friday, June 24, to Sunday, Sept. 11, in the museum’s M Street gallery. It was developed in collaboration with the Embassy of Peru in Washington, D.C., as it celebrates the 100th anniversary of the world’s introduction to Machu Picchu.
On July 24, 1911, Bingham, an assistant professor of Latin American history at Yale University, set out with two Peruvian companions to explore the reported ruins known as Machu Picchu. Bingham admitted he was not the first to discover the hidden city, but he was the first to study it scientifically. Bingham returned to the site on two subsequent expeditions with archaeological grants awarded by the National Geographic Society and the continued support of Yale. Over the course of four years, Bingham cleared, mapped and photographed the ruins and collected artifacts from the area.
“Machu Picchu: A Lost City Uncovered” features 40 black-and-white photographs from Bingham’s three expeditions. Panoramic shots show the vast area of the ruins. With the exception of two images taken by expedition members, all the photographs were made by Bingham during his time studying Machu Picchu.
National Geographic Live will host events throughout the summer in conjunction with the exhibition. On June 28, Bingham biographer Christopher Heaney will give his assessment of Bingham’s discovery. On June 30, University of Illinois Professor Emeritus R. Tom Zuidema will share his knowledge of the Inca calendar and what it tells us about Inca society and culture. On July 9, National Geographic Live will host a daylong film festival, “Peru on Film,” with screenings of three films: “Camino a la Escuela,” “Hananpacha” and “Inca Mummies: Secrets of a Lost World.” A Peruvian dance festival will be held July 17, with dance workshops by Mamauca and demonstrations that include the spectacular Scissors Dance and a performance by Cynthia Paniagua, as well as screenings of the films “Soy Andina” (with filmmaker Mitchell Teplitsky) and “Danzak,” and live Andean music.
Tuesdays at Noon, the series of free film screenings, will offer four screenings of films from and about Peru on June 28, July 5, July 19 and July 26, including “Cooking Up Dreams” by Peruvian filmmaker Ernesto Cabellos and “Sax Country” by filmmaker Sonia Goldenberg, who will travel from Lima to introduce her work in person.
All these events are presented in conjunction with the Embassy of Peru. For more information, including ticketing, visit www.nglive.org.
In addition to “Machu Picchu,” National Geographic Museum is displaying an outdoor exhibition, “Formation: Earth in Motion, Photographs by Carsten Peter,” through Sept. 20. “Formation” showcases Peter’s images of Earth’s extreme environments — from violent volcanoes to moving glaciers. Peter is an award-winning photographer and videographer and a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine.
Photography exhibitions in the museum’s M Street gallery and outdoors are free, including both “Machu Picchu: A Lost City Uncovered” and “Formation: Earth in Motion.” Entrance to exhibitions in the National Geographic Museum’s main galleries, presently displaying “Race to the End of the Earth” and “Etruscans: An Ancient Italian Civilization,” require admission ($4-$8). Visit www.ngmuseum.org
The museum is located at 1145 17th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is closed Dec. 25. For more information on exhibitions, the public should call (202) 857-7588 or visitwww.ngmuseum.org.