Smithsonian Showcases Award-Winning Wildlife Photography

“Unforgettable Behavior: Wildlife Photographer of the Year” Opens Nov. 3
October 28, 2021
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The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History will host a new exhibition that highlights the wonder of nature through photographs of extraordinary and often rarely seen animal behaviors. “Unforgettable Behavior: Wildlife Photographer of the Year” will offer visitors the opportunity to see the beauty and fragility of wildlife and challenge them to think differently about their relationship with nature. The exhibition opens Nov. 3.

“Unforgettable Behavior” is a specially curated photography show from the Natural History Museum in London. It features 38 award-winning images from past Wildlife Photographer of the Year competitions. Each photograph tells a unique story—from life-or-death decisions to changing environments and human interactions. The images ignite curiosity about the natural world and invite visitors to become advocates for the planet.

“These photos allow us to connect with animals we might never otherwise see,” said Michael Lawrence, assistant director for exhibitions at the National Museum of Natural History. “They show an extraordinary range of surprising and often deeply moving acts of animal behavior that inspire us to care about the world around us.”

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is an annual competition with thousands of professional and amateur entries from nearly 100 countries worldwide. Winners are chosen for technical innovation, artistic composition and authentic representation of the natural world. The competition not only showcases some of the world’s best nature photography, but also features the important stories behind these images in extended captions. Many illustrate our complicated relationship with nature and raise awareness of global environmental issues. The competition started in 1965 and is the longest running and most prestigious photographic competition of its kind.

About the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History

The National Museum of Natural History is connecting people everywhere with Earth’s unfolding story. It is one of the most visited natural history museums in the world. Opened in 1910, the museum is dedicated to maintaining and preserving the world’s most extensive collection of natural history specimens and human artifacts. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit the museum on its website, blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About the Natural History Museum in London

The Natural History Museum is both a world-leading science research center and also the most-visited natural history museum in Europe. With a vision of a future in which both people and the planet thrive, it is uniquely positioned to be a powerful champion for balancing humanity’s needs with those of the natural world.

It is custodian of one of the world’s most important scientific collections comprising over 80 million specimens. The scale of this collection enables researchers from all over the world to document how species have and continue to respond to environmental changes, which is vital in helping predict what might happen in the future and informing future policies and plans to help the planet.

The museum’s 300 scientists continue to represent one of the largest groups in the world studying and enabling research into every aspect of the natural world. Their science is contributing critical data to help the global fight to save the future of the planet from the major threats of climate change and biodiversity loss through to finding solutions such as the sustainable extraction of natural resources.

The museum uses its enormous global reach and influence to meet its mission to create advocates for the planet—to inform, inspire and empower everyone to make a difference for nature. We welcome over 5 million visitors each year; our digital output reaches hundreds of thousands of people in over 200 countries each month and our touring exhibitions have been seen by around 30 million people in the last 10 years.

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Anna Torres

(202) 633-0218 

Randall Kremer


Note to editors: A selection of web-friendly photographs from the exhibition is available via Dropbox (password: animals). Use of these photos must comply with the terms and conditions included in the Dropbox. High resolution photos for print publication are available upon request.

National Museum of Natural History
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Phone: (202) 633-2950
Fax: (202) 786-2982