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View National Geographic’s 50 Top Photos at Natural History Museum

Showcasing some of National Geographic’s most compelling photographs, on Saturday, May 26, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History will open the traveling exhibition 50 Greatest Photographs of National Geographic in the Museum’s Fleischmann Auditorium.

From Steve McCurry’s haunting Afghan girl to Nick Nichols’ iconic image of Jane Goodall and chimpanzee to Thomas Abercrombie’s never-before-seen view of Mecca, the display includes some of National Geographic’s most celebrated photographs from its nearly 130-year history.

In addition to seeing the photos as they appeared in the magazine, visitors will learn the stories behind the images and more about the photographers.

For some pictures, visitors will be able to see the near frames taken by the photographer: the sequence of images made in the field before and after the perfect shot.

“As the museum prepares to open our newly renovated galleries, we looked for a summer show that would celebrate nature and our relationship with it," said Luke Swetland, museum president /CEO.

"The National Geographic exhibit is visually powerful, rich in nature and thought provoking; all traits that our renovated galleries will manifest as well. It will make for an exceptional pairing,” he said.

The exhibit opens at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 26, and runs through Monday, Sept. 3. To learn more, visit

For more about the National Geographic Society, visit

— Briana Sapp Tivey for Museum of Natural History.


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