“Exhibit ‘Wildlife Photographer of the Year’ to Open at The Field Museum,” by S.M. O’Connor

The special exhibit “Wildlife Photographer of the Year” will open at The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois on Friday, March 22, 2019.  Members will have the opportunity to see the exhibition early on March 20th and 21st.  Subjects captured in the photographs include walruses in Norway, a lizard on a road in Malaysia, and an active volcano in Russia.  These images are mounted on 100 light panels.  The exhibit will run through Sunday, January 12, 2020.

It is not covered by Basic Admission.  One must have either a Discovery Pass or an All-Access Pass to enter the exhibit.

The Natural History Museum (N.H.M.) in South Kensington, London produced the “Wildlife Photographer of the Year” exhibition, which is now in its fifty-fourth year.  Judges selected the 100 photographs on display from more than 45,000 entries from ninety-five countries.  The N.H.M stated, “[T]he images awarded for their creativity, originality and technical excellence.”  Bank of America is the local sponsor.

-bkf2r6qFigure 1 Credit: © Marsel van Oosten, The Netherlands Caption: Dutch photographer Marsel van oosten struggled to keep up with a group of Qinling golden snub-nosed monkeys as they jumped from tree to tree in a forest of Shaanxi Province, China.  Gradually, he learnt how to predict their behavior.  He was thus able to capture this moment when a male and female briefly rested on stone seats.

-n_5wuyiFigure 2 Credit: © Denis Budkov, Russia: Caption: Kamchatka Peninsula in the Kamchatka Krai of the Russian Far East is famous for its volcanoes.  Five years after the last eruption of Plosky Tolbachik, the molten rock of the volcano still glows and radiates intense heat.

wh_gf8w8Figure 3 Credit: © Valter Bernardeschi, Italy Caption: While in a dinghy off the coast of Svalbard, Norway, photographer Valter Bernardeschi spotted walruses and slipped into the frigid waters for an impromptu photo shoot.

7l9dg1ccFigure 4 Credit: © Darío Podestá, Argentina Caption: A two-banded plover chick runs after its parents on the Valdes Peninsula in Argentine Patagonia.

 

 

“Exploring, admiring, and ultimately protecting the richness of life on Earth is central to our mission here at the Field Museum,” stated Jaap Hoogstraten, The Field Museum’s Director of Exhibitions. “We hope to bring people closer to the stories behind each photograph, to deepen the public’s appreciation for how incredible, fragile, and amazing wildlife on our planet really is.”

In addition to viewing the astonishing photographs, visitors will learn about the intricacies behind each photographer’s shot in each of the exhibition’s panels. “Sometimes, the animal in the photo is the protagonist—you identify with that animal and its story. But the hero of a photograph can also be its photographer,” stated Janet Hong, The Field Museum’s Project Manager of Exhibitions. “It takes perseverance to get a great shot—understanding an animal’s behavior can mean tracking it for days.  And a great visual composition often comes from deep knowledge of a place or plant or animal.  Also, it’s quite surprising to realize that some of the most arresting images were captured by keen-eyed kids.”

Jan English, Head of Touring Exhibitions at the N.H.M., stated, “Wildlife Photographer of the Year celebrates the very best nature photography, and it is consistently one of our most successful touring exhibitions, enjoyed by millions every year. These images tell thought-provoking stories about our planet that prompt us all to think differently about the natural world and the future we want to create.”

The Field Museum stated, “Ultimately, Wildlife Photographer of the Year is an invitation to look more closely: at the diversity of this planet’s wildlife, at our own relationships with nature, at the urgency to conserve the habitats these images depict. Through the photographer’s lens, visitors will journey through time and place to reflect on their own role in Earth’s rich, colorful narrative.”

The Field Museum has over 30,000,000 artifacts and specimens.  Over 150 scientists, conservators, and collections staff members work there.

On September 16, 1893, after the closure of the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893), the Colombian Museum of Chicago incorporated.  A little over one month later, on October 26, 1893, Marshall Field I (1834-1906) announced he would donate $1,000,000 to the project, provided that $500,000 in cash be raised from other sources and that $2,000,000 in World’s Columbian Exposition stock (then thought to be worth ten cents on the dollar) be donated, but he later waived these conditions.   The $8,000,000 bequest Marshall Field I left what was then called the Field Columbian Museum in his will was to be divided evenly into two funds: one allotment of $4,000,000 for erecting a new building to house the institution, and a second allotment of $4,000,000 would provide an endowment.

Stanley Field, Marshall Field I’s nephew, was the eponym of Stanley Field Hall, which was originally called Central Hall.  He was the third president of The Field Museum of Natural History.  He held the post from 1908 to 1964 and also gave The Field Museum $2,000,000.  It was he who oversaw the move in 1920 from the organization’s first home, the Palace of Fine Arts (which now houses the Museum of Science and Industry) in Jackson Park to its new purposes-built home in Burnham Park.

The Field Museum is part of the Museum Campus with the John G. Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium at the northern end of Burnham Park.  The Field Museum is open every day of the year, save one (Christmas Day).  It is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  with the last admission at 4:00 p.m.  There are upcoming Illinois Resident Free Days.   The street address of The Field Museum is 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60605-2496.  The phone number is (312) 922-9410.  The Website is https://www.fieldmuseum.org/.

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