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The National Geographic Society’s ‘50 Greatest’ Traveling Exhibition Series Shares the Power of Photography With the World

A selection of National Geographic magazine photos have emerged from the archives to travel the world for all to see in our “50 Greatest” traveling exhibition series.

The photographs from the pages of National Geographic magazine have been among the world’s most memorable images, revealing some of the most breathtaking scenes and making some of the most enduring impacts. A selection of these extraordinary photos have emerged from the archives to travel the world for all to see in our “50 Greatest” traveling exhibition series. The series includes “50 Greatest Photographs,” “50 Greatest Wildlife Photographs,” and “50 Greatest Landscapes.” These three fascinating exhibitions display a selection of some of the most compelling photographs taken during National Geographic’s 131-year history. Through partnerships with museums, galleries, zoos, and other cultural institutions, we’re able to share these unforgettable photos taken by celebrated National Geographic photographers worldwide.

The “50 Greatest Photographs” traveling exhibition includes unforgettable photos like Steve McCurry’s powerful Afghan girl and Nick Nichols’ image of Jane Goodall sharing an intimate moment with a chimpanzee. Not only can visitors come face-to-face with some of the most iconic photographs from National Geographic magazine, they can also read about the photographers’ experiences from behind the lens to understand the lengths they took to get the perfect shots. These images, which have made a lasting impression on the world, helped put National Geographic on the map as an organization that celebrates photography as a means to educate people around the world and inspire solutions for the greater good.

Photo by Ami Vitale. A sixteen-year-old giant panda inside her enclosure at the Wolong Nature Reserve.

Additionally, National Geographic is known for championing the art of wildlife photography by capturing extraordinary images of animals in their natural habitats. The most iconic of these photos are featured in the “50 Greatest Wildlife Photographs” traveling exhibition where visitors can marvel at the legacy created by National Geographic photographers starting from the very first image to appear in the magazine—a reindeer, in 1903. These photographers pioneered innovations such as camera traps, remote imaging, and underwater technology, helping to pave the way for future generations of storytellers. After viewing the spectacular photographs taken by the likes of Paul Nicklen, David Doubilet, Steve Winter, and Beverly Joubert, we hope visitors will be compelled to take action to protect these magnificent species.

Photo by George Steinmetz. Microorganisms add red and yellow hues to Yellowstone's Grand Prismatic Spring.

National Geographic also transports people to the wonders of the world—from underwater edens to the most dominating mountain peaks—in an effort to inspire them to conserve these breathtaking places. The “50 Greatest Landscapes” traveling exhibition includes a collection of remarkable images that illuminate the beauty of our planet throughout its seasons. The images convey the rebirth of spring, the energy of summer, the vibrant colors of fall, and the stillness of winter. This exhibition encourages visitors to explore all the impressive landscapes our planet has to offer and inspires them to protect its last wild places.

Beyond the “50 Greatest” traveling exhibition series, National Geographic offers 14 other photography exhibitions as well as large-scale interactive and immersive exhibitions containing 3D augmented reality elements. Since 2012, the exhibitions have traveled to 40 countries and 100 cities and they’ve been seen by more than 40 million people. Each exhibition emboldens a spirit of exploration in its visitors, who can experience stories of adventure to unseen places, connect with the world’s many cultures, and appreciate the incredible biodiversity that comprises our Earth. By learning about and engaging with the world we can unite toward a common goal of achieving a planet in balance. To learn more about our traveling exhibitions, please visit

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About 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 or follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.