(Orange, Texas)

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October 8, 2012

National Geographic American West show debuts at Stark Museum of Art

ORANGE — “National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West,” a collection of iconic Western images gathered by National Geographic over a span of 125 years, will open at Stark Museum of Art in Orange, Texas, on Saturday, Oct. 27.

The Stark Museum will be one of ten museums to open this exhibition of remarkable photographs on the same day, creating the largest simultaneous photography exhibition ever in the nation. Opening day activities will include daytime mini-tours of the exhibition and an evening Exhibition Opening Celebration featuring a photographer’s presentation, a reception and book signing. The exhibition will be on view through Jan. 26, 2013.

Participating museums in the “National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West” will include the Stark Museum of Art, as well as other facilities in Georgia, Wyoming, New York, Montana, Oklahoma, Indiana and Washington D.C.

Seventy-five images on display at the Stark Museum will give a gripping visual narrative that confronts the myths and realities of life in the West through an exploration of legends, encounters, boundaries and visions. Images offer visitors a better understanding of the relationship between landscape and culture, along with an illustration of the enduring identity of the American West.

“We are pleased to bring ‘National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West’ to the Stark Museum,” said Sarah Boehme, Director of Stark Museum of Art. “This is the first exhibition of photography ever held at the Stark Museum of Art and we are excited to take this new direction with an exhibition that assembles great photographic imagery from historic trailblazers such as William Henry Jackson and Ansel Adams to contemporary leaders such as Sam Abell and Joel Sartore.”

A companion book to the exhibition, “National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West: Capturing 125 Years of Majesty, Spirit and Adventure” features 175 photographs, including rarely published and never-before-seen images capturing the real West and its enduring legacy from earliest images through contemporary issues. The book is currently on sale at Stark Museum of Art’s Museum Store and online from National Geographic Books.

Adjacent to the “National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West,” the Stark Museum of Art will have an educational exhibit that will feature a display of photographic equipment including historic cameras on loan from Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum, Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas. It will also have a timeline on the history of photography and an interactive light table, an activity suitable for children and families.

During the opening day on Saturday, Oct. 27, Museum docents will be available to give mini-tours of the exhibition from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

In conjunction with the exhibition opening, the evening event will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Lutcher Theater, 707 Main Avenue in Orange, Texas, with the presentation “Life of a National Geographic Photographer.” Renowned photographer Sam Abell will share insights into his life and work as a National Geographic photographer, discussing his career, what inspires and influences his work, and his most memorable adventures. A reception, exhibition viewing and book signing will immediate follow at the Stark Museum.

“Life of a National Geographic Photographer” is presented in association with “National Geographic Live,” a mission program of speakers and events that brings the National Geographic experience to communities worldwide.

The “National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West” exhibition was organized by the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in collaboration with the National Geographic Society and Museums West, presented by The Mays Family Foundation.

For more information, call 409-886-2787 or visit

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