Earlier in May I got the opportunity to go to the press opening for the new Women of Vision: National Geographic Photographers on Assignment exhibit at The Field Museum. After reading about the exhibit on the website I was prepared for it to be good but was not prepared for how breath taking and intense the photographs and the exhibit itself were. The evening was kicked off by an introduction given by the president of the Field Museum, Richard Lariviere, I met him randomly at lunch when I was still an intern at the Field.
The premise behind this National Geographic and PNC Bank sponsored travelling exhibit is the showcase of eleven different National Geographic women photographers. Their work is insanely diverse, from the front lines of the war zones in the Middle East to following teenagers to the circle of life in Africa.
These women have a way of bringing the viewer into the scene of the image and evoking emotions. I absolutely love the labels for this exhibit. I know right? Museum nerd alert. I'm serious though, in some photography exhibits you can just breeze by the labels but in this one I found myself reading every single word and then sometimes reading them again. The labels make the photographs resonate and come alive. You don't just get the information about what exactly the image is, you also learn the back story behind that image. That story that the photographer immersed themselves in just to get that one shot.
The video oral histories were my other favorite part. As someone whose best friend is a photojournalist hearing how these women got into their passion and other amazing stories resonated with me. I think I sat there and watched the entire video twice. I loved hearing these inspiring women tell their stories and how hard they've worked to accomplish what they have.
Women of Vision will be at the Field Museum until September 11. I plan on going back this summer so I can see the exhibit again as well as the other special exhibits that will still be at the Field Museum like China's First Emperor and His Terracotta Warriors and Echoes of Stone Age Greece. Women of Vision is a must add to your summer Chicago list.