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Women of Vision: National Geographic Photographers on Assignment

Women of Vision: National Geographic Photographers on Assignment

Californian exhibition celebrates the work of 11 inspiring female photojournalists

Women of Vision: National Geographic Photographers on Assignment opens at Forest Lawn Museum at Forest Lawn—Glendale, California, on 11 December 2018. Highlighting the influential photography of 11 award-winning female photojournalists, the travelling exhibition is on view in Glendale until 7 April 2019. The exhibition is a tribute to the spirit and ambition of these forward-thinking and distinguished female photographers and underscores the momentous work they have done to bring narratives from all over the world to the pages of National Geographic and into the homes of millions of people.

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, such as child marriage and 21st-century slavery. In addition, the exhibition demonstrates how National Geographic magazine picture editors work closely with the photographers to select images and tell stories. Video vignettes present first-person accounts that reveal the photographers’ individual styles, passions and approaches to their craft.

© Stephanie Sinclair

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. Women of Vision curator and former National Geographic Senior Photo Editor, Elizabeth Krist, had the challenging task of choosing a selection of images to best represent the broad portfolios of the 11 extraordinary photographers:

  • Pulitzer Prize-winner and 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. Cahana 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 important 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 ’21st-Century Slaves’, one of the most popular stories in the magazine’s history. Cobb was the only photographer to penetrate the geisha world, which resulted in her Pulitzer Prize-nominated book. She was the first photographer to document the hidden lives of the women of Saudi Arabia. Her numerous accolades include repeated honors from the National Press Photographers Association, Pictures of the Year and World Press Photo, and Cobb was the first woman named White House Photographer of the Year.
  • Diane Cook is a leading landscape photographer whose work is in numerous museum collections. Cook often collaborates with her husband Len Jenshel. Their NGM stories have covered New York’s High Line, Mount St Helens, Green Roofs, the Na’Pali Coast of Hawaii, the US-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. She has spent years documenting the cultures of Central Asia and life in western China’s Uyghur region.
  • A Knight Fellow and passionate advocate for visual arts education, Lynn Johnson has produced images for 21 NGM stories, including stories on vanishing languages and challenges facing people in Africa and Asia. Johnson has participated in photography camps in Africa and at 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. With her husband, Dereck Joubert, she has been documenting the plight of African wildlife for over 30 years. Her images have appeared in over 100 magazines worldwide, and the Jouberts have co-authored several books and scientific papers and produced over 25 television documentaries and a feature film, The Last Lions (2011). Their films have received international recognition, including seven Emmys, a Peabody and Panda Awards, as well as conservation accolades, including the World Ecology Award, an induction into the American Academy of Achievement and the Presidential Order of Meritorious.
  • Erika Larsen studies cultures with strong ties to nature. She published a 2009 story in NGM on the Sami reindeer herders of Scandinavia, which grew out of her own documentary work. Larsen is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and a New Jersey State Arts Council Fellowship. Erika’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.
  • A celebrated figure in the photographic community, Maggie Steber has worked in over 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, Dubai and the science of memory.
  • 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. She spent three years documenting Aboriginal Australia for a 2013 NGM story. Toensing is also committed to teaching photography to children in underserved communities, including to Somali and Sudanese refugees in Maine.

© Jodi Cobb

Women of Vision: National Geographic Photographers on Assignment is travelled and organised by the National Geographic Society. The exhibition is open to the public 11 December 2018 through 7 April 2019 at Forest Lawn Museum, Forest Lawn—Glendale, 1712 S. Glendale Blvd, Glendale, California. The Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm. Admission and parking are free. Call 323 340 4545 or visit for more information. Full details on the exhibition, including photo galleries and links to related National Geographic magazine content, are available at


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