National Geographic
Traveling Exhibition

50 Greatest Photographs

The Most Compelling Imagery Published in the History of NGM

About this Exhibition

“50 Greatest Photographs” showcases many of the most compelling imagery published in the history of the magazine.

This exhibition will transport visitors behind the lens of some of National Geographic’s most engaging images. From Steve McCurry’s unforgettable Afghan girl, to Michael “Nick” Nichols’s iconic photograph of Jane Goodall and a chimpanzee, to Thomas Abercrombie’s never-before-seen view of Mecca, the exhibition features 50 of the magazine’s most remembered and celebrated photographs from its almost 130-year history.

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

The exhibition is accompanied by videos with behind-the-scenes stories and interviews with the photographers.


  • 50 Photographs, with fully designed panels, back-printed on thick plexi (36”x44.5” and 36”x52”) including approx. 250 word captions and behind-the-image stories from the photographers. Some include near frames.

  • Title Panel

  • 8 Videos: interviews with photographers, which can be played separately or together

The Exhibition

Tour Schedule

Current Location
Puke Ariki
New Plymouth, New Zealand
September 10, 2018 - October 30, 2018
Upcoming Locations
Waikato Museum
Hamilton, New Zealand
December 22, 2018 - March 31, 2019
Canadian National Exhibition
Toronto, Canada
August 1, 2019 - September 26, 2019
Museum of Art Fort Collins
Ft. Collins, CO, US
October 10, 2019 - January 5, 2020
Past Locations
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
Santa Barbara, CA, US
May 25, 2018 - September 3, 2018
Nelson Provincial Museum
Nelson, New Zealand
March 17, 2018 - July 1, 2018
Burnie Regional Art Gallery
Tasmania, Australia
January 20, 2018 - April 15, 2018
South Florida Museum
Bradenton, FL, US
September 21, 2017 - January 18, 2018
VB Photo Centre
Kuopio, Finland
July 2, 2017 - September 5, 2017
Næstved Storcenter
Næstved, Denmark
April 1, 2017 - September 5, 2017
The Elliot Museum
Stuart, FL, US
February 4, 2017 - June 4, 2017
Universidad Católica del Norte
Antofagasta, Chile
November 18, 2016 - December 16, 2016
Whatcom Museum
Bellingham, WA, US
October 1, 2016 - January 15, 2017
Carnegie Natural History Museum
Pittsburgh, PA, US
June 8, 2016 - September 11, 2016
Museum of the Rockies
Bozeman, MT, US
February 6, 2016 - May 30, 2016
National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium
Dubuque, IA, US
October 24, 2015 - January 3, 2016
Hickory Museum of Art
Hickory, NC, US
September 12, 2015 - January 17, 2016
Venetian Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV, US
April 4, 2015 - September 6, 2015
Stauth Memorial Museum
Montezuma, KS, US
March 22, 2015 - June 14, 2015
Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum
Wausau, WI, US
December 6, 2014 - March 1, 2015
Ljubljana Castle
Ljubljana, Slovenia
July 9, 2014 - September 15, 2014
The Schiele Museum of Natural History & Planetarium
Gastonia, NC, US
June 28, 2014 - October 26, 2014
The Palace of the Archbishop
Mexico City, Mexico
October 17, 2013 - December 31, 2013
Parque Bicentenario
Guanajuato, Mexico
October 17, 2013 - June 30, 2014
Aquarium Finisterrae-Science
La Coruña, Spain
October 1, 2013 - November 30, 2014
Marina Bay Sands
Singapore, Singapore
August 15, 2013 - November 3, 2013
ArtScience Museum
Singapore, Singapore
August 15, 2013 - November 15, 2013
Centro Cultural Oscar Niemeyer
Asturias, Spain
July 4, 2013 - November 3, 2013
Franklin Institute
Philadelphia, PA, US
May 18, 2013 - October 6, 2013
Bogdan and Varvara Khanenko Museum of Art
Kiev, Ukraine
April 1, 2013 - April 13, 2013
Venetian Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV, US
February 15, 2013 - September 1, 2013
Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Cleveland, OH, US
September 29, 2012 - January 31, 2013
Galleria Burgas
Burgas, Bulgaria
May 1, 2012 - April 30, 2015
Galleria Stara Zagora
Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
May 1, 2012 - April 30, 2015
Galleria Harfa
Praha, Czechia
May 1, 2012 - April 30, 2015
Eastern Europe Tour: Avenue Mall Zagreb
Zagreb, Croatia
May 1, 2012 - April 30, 2015
Avenue Mall Osijek
Osijek, Croatia
May 1, 2012 - April 30, 2015
Galleria Jurajska
Częstochowa, Poland
May 1, 2012 - April 30, 2015
Galleria Kazimierz
Kraków, Poland
May 1, 2012 - April 30, 2015
Galleria Arad
Arad, Romania
May 1, 2012 - April 30, 2015

Global Exhibition: Digital Delivery

Photograph by Steve McCurry

For our international partners, National Geographic offers digitally delivered content packages. This option eliminates international shipping fees by providing partners with a secure link to download their exhibition files. This model is currently only available for our international partners and is ideal for photography, video, and panel-based shows. Partners will also be provided with production guidelines for printing and mounting the exhibition.

Get More Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Exhibition Types

National Geographic offers high-quality traveling exhibitions to meet the needs of institutions both small and large. Working with photographers, explorers, and other partners in the fields of exploration, technology, education, and storytelling, National Geographic creates exhibitions covering a wide range of topics to appeal to multiple audiences.

For venues located outside of the United States, National Geographic offers digitally delivered content packages. This option eliminates international shipping fees by providing partners with a secure link to download their exhibition files and production guidelines for printing and mounting the exhibition.

For partners located within the United States, a printed and crated exhibition will be shipped to your venue, ready to hang.


To book a traveling exhibition, fill out the booking request form. A member of our traveling exhibitions team will respond within one business day to discuss your venue’s interest, to outline fees and logistics including shipping, and to answer any additional questions you may have.

A traveling exhibition manager will walk you through the process of selecting the right exhibition to meet your programmatic goals and space. This includes providing you with detailed object lists with images for your review and reviewing the schedule to find out what is available during your desired time frame.

The next step is to fill out a standard facilities report, which we will provide you. This report helps National Geographic evaluate the characteristics of your display space to ensure the proper environment and security are in place to host a National Geographic exhibition. For larger exhibitions the report also helps determine if your venue can support the logistical needs required, such as ceiling height, storage space, electrical needs, loading dock specifics, and other useful information that makes hosting an exhibition possible.

Cost and Schedule

A typical hosting period is 3-4 months. The loan fee ranges with the size and complexity of the exhibition selected. Please connect with us via the booking request form to discuss specific loan fees and timing as there may be some flexibility.  


Shipping arrangements are made by National Geographic in consultation with the venue and may be included in the exhibition loan fee. If shipping is not included in the loan fee, the exhibitor will pay for the cost of inbound shipping. A list of crates with their sizes and contents are provided to the venue to assist in installation planning. For larger exhibitions where multiple tractor trailers are used, a detailed truck pack plan is provided to the venue in advance to assist in installation preparations and staging plans. The Traveling Exhibitions Manager will identify any manpower and special equipment needs for unloading and loading at the exhibitor’s location.

Installation Requirements

Installation requirements vary considerably depending on the size and complexity of the exhibition. For smaller photography exhibitions, installation may take only a few days with minimal staff. For larger exhibitions with exhibition furniture, audio, visual elements, and artifacts, it may take two weeks. The traveling exhibitions manager will work closely with you and your staff to develop a detailed installation and de-installation plan tailored to your needs and exhibition characteristics.

Marketing and Promotion

Once a contract is executed, National Geographic provides access to exhibition marketing assets and can provide guidance on usage and strategy. All materials produced by the host venue must be approved by National Geographic before being released for public consumption. Additionally, the credit line must be present in all marketing materials in a prominent location. The credit line shall read:

[EXHIBITION NAME] is developed and traveled by the National Geographic Society.

International Venues

National Geographic has placed exhibitions in more than 40 countries worldwide, which has been viewed by millions of visitors. Content for the exhibitions are provided via digital delivery; thereby eliminating costly customs and shipping fees. Please connect with us via the booking request form and the manager for international traveling exhibitions will be in touch with more information regarding available shows.

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