National Geographic Photo Ark

Changing Exhibitions Gallery • OPENING Sep 25 2021


The National Geographic Photo Ark is an ambitious project committed to documenting every species living in the world’s zoos and wildlife sanctuaries—inspiring people not just to care, but also to help protect these animals for future generations. The National Geographic Photo Ark is a compelling and visually powerful project that aims to photograph species before it is too late. In addition to creating an archival record for generations to come, this project is a hopeful platform for conservation and shines a light on individuals and organizations working to preserve species around the world.

An inspiring traveling exhibition that showcases this important project, National Geographic Photo Ark features the work of National Geographic photographer and Fellow Joel Sartore.

Sartore estimates the completed National Geographic Photo Ark will include portraits of over 15,000 species representing several animal classes, including birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. In what will be the largest single archive of studio-quality photographs of biodiversity ever, the National Geographic Photo Ark continues to move toward its goal of documenting these 15,000 species in captivity, thanks in part to Sartore’s enduring relationships with many of the world’s zoos and aquariums. These iconic portraits have captured the imagination of people around the world and have even been projected on the Empire State Building and St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

On view at the MSV from September 25, 2021, through February 13, 2022, National Geographic Photo Ark presents more than 40 of Sartore's most compelling images and provides visitors with the unique opportunity to come face to face with animals from the National Geographic Photo Ark.

National Geographic Photo Ark is organized and traveled by the National Geographic Society and the exhibition's MSV display is generously sponsored by Shenandoah Oncology.