February 29, 2024
National Geographic Returns to the Whatcom Museum

For Immediate Release: February 29, 2024

Bellingham, WA — Whatcom Museum visitors will witness some of the most surprising animal behavior in the new National Geographic exhibition, Greatest Wildlife Photographs. These images represent the very best from the pages of National Geographic magazine, and the Whatcom Museum is the only place to see these larger-than-life images in the Pacific Northwest. Greatest Wildlife Photographs opens March 9 and runs through September 8, 2024.

Curated by renowned nature picture editor Kathy Moran, this exhibition is a celebratory look at wildlife with images taken by National Geographic’s most iconic photographers such as, Michael “Nick” Nichols, Steve Winter, Paul Nicklen, Beverly Joubert, David Doubilet and more. Showcasing the evolution of photography, the images convey how innovations such as camera traps, remote imaging, and underwater technology have granted photographers access to wildlife in their natural habitat. Videos complement several of the images, giving visitors a behind-the-scenes view of the work that went into capturing these celebrated photographs.

“We’re thrilled to be hosting National Geographic again at the Whatcom Museum,” said Curator of Art Amy Chaloupka. “These images are beautiful in print but spectacular in person. Each is 3.5 feet wide, which allows you to walk up and feel immersed in each wildlife scene.”

This will be the second time the Whatcom Museum has hosted a National Geographic photography exhibit, and to celebrate its return to Bellingham, the museum is bringing photographer Ronan Donovan to Mount Baker Theatre on Friday, May 24, 2024, as part of the National Geographic Live speaker series. Donovan, a biologist-turned-photographer whose award-winning work is on view in the exhibition, will talk about his experiences documenting animals in the wild – from Africa to Montana – and what humans can learn from other social species, many of which are under threat.

For 115 years, National Geographic has pioneered and championed the art of wildlife photography, and captivated generations of engaged audiences with a steady stream of extraordinary images of animals in nature. From the very first such image to appear – a reindeer in 1903 – National Geographic Society’s publications have broken new ground and push the bar higher again and again, establishing an unmatched legacy of artistic, scientific, and technical achievement. These are the Greatest Wildlife Photographs.


Greatest Wildlife Photographs member preview reception
Friday, March 8, 5 – 7 pm (must be a Whatcom Museum member to attend)

National Geographic Live: Social by Nature with Ronan Donovan
Friday, May 24, 7 pm at Mount Baker Theatre; tickets available at tinyurl.com/RonanLive

Daytime Curator Tours
March 15, April 12, May 17, June 7, 1 – 2 pm
Exhibition tour with the museum’s art curator; free with museum admission

Evening Dinner & Curator Tours
March 20, April 17, May 22, 5:30 – 8 pm
Three-course meal at Bar Cicotti, followed by an exhibition tour with the museum’s art curator; tickets available at tinyurl.com/DinnerTour

Docent tours
Most Thursdays and Saturdays, 1 – 2 pm; free with museum admission

A press kit is available here with a selection of images approved for use by the media. Please note the included caption sheet that provides required photo and exhibition attribution language.

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Adrienne Dawson
Director, Marketing & PR
Whatcom Museum

About the National Geographic Society:

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 15,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. To learn more, visit nationalgeographic.org or follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

About the Whatcom Museum:

The Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, WA, is an American Alliance of Museums-accredited museum and a Smithsonian Affiliate. Notable projects have included the 2019 retrospective exhibition Ed Bereal: WANTED: For Disturbing the Peace, featured in The New York Times, the touring exhibition Katazome Today: Migrations of a Japanese Art, and the co-curated, exhibition Many Wests: Artists Shape an American Idea, which was on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., in 2023.

The Whatcom Museum spans three buildings in downtown Bellingham: the Lightcatcher, Old City Hall, and the Syre Education Center. For more information about exhibitions, programs, and admission, visit whatcommuseum.org.