From now until April 14 visitors at the Stauth Museum will have the chance to learn about endangered plants and animals from all over the United States.
RARE: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species, is a collection of photographs from National Geographic contributing photographer Joel Sartore. Sartore has spent two decades on a mission to document North American species facing extinction. Sixty of these animals and plants are profiled in the book and exhibition RARE: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species.
"These are all really amazing photos," Kim Legleiter, executive director of the Stauth Museum said. "He took all the photos on either a black or white background, which made the size of the animal unimportant, and made for some truly stunning photographs."
The exhibition and book serve as a poignant roll call of North America’s most endangered wildlife... and an urgent call to action. The exhibition is organized by number of living populations for each species.
"Sartore even has two photos of animals that are now completely extinct," Legleiter said. "One of them is the pygmy rabbit. He took a photo of one of the last ones in a zoo, and then it passed away later."
The exhibition will also celebrate endangered species making a comeback: Including the gray wolf, now numbering 4,128, the bald eagle, with a population of around 20,000, and the American alligator, which has rebounded from the verge of extinction to more than 1 million animals.
According to a press release from the museum, Sartore's pictures offer an exquisite, intimate and up-close look into the eyes, or petals, of wildlife in jeopardy; teetering on the brink of extinction. The species range from condors to crocodiles, wolverines to woodpeckers, snails to sea turtles, plovers to pitcher plants. Some, like the bald eagle, are so iconic that it’s easy to see why we would take the trouble to save them. Others, like the Delhi Sands flower-loving fly or the Higgins eye mussel, are probably unknown to most and have no immediate iconic appeal except for their own intrinsic beauty.
"Several of Sartore's photos have been taken right here in Kansas," Legleiter said, "which really helps people, especially children, understand that it's our job to try and protect these animals while we still can."
Each photo will have information about the animal, including how many are left in existence. A few will also have information about how Sartore took the picture. For example, one animal that Sartore was photographing began to eat the white background before the picture could be taken, so Sartore had to find a new background to use.
The Stauth Museum also has videos for both children and adults to accompany the exhibit and offer more information about endangered species.
"This is an important exhibit," Legleiter said. "It shows kids why we need to protect these animals and plants, and how if we lose one, it dramatically affects the other."
Page 2 of 2 - The exhibit, Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species with photographs by Joel Sartore, was made in collaboration with National Geographic. Tour development by Smith Kramer Traveling Exhibitions, Kansas City, Missouri.
The museum is expecting many groups for this exhibit, so please call in advance to schedule groups of 5 or more. Contact 620-846-2527 for information or to set up a tour. Museum hours: Tue -Sat 9-12 1-4:30, Sun 1:30-4:30. We are closed on Mondays and all major Holidays. Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted to help pay for this incredible exhibit. For more information visit; www.stauthmemorialmuseum.org.
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