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National Museum of Wildlife Art Awards Rungius Medal to National Geographic Photographer Joel Sartore

June 29, 2017

Thursday, June 29, 2017

On Tuesday evening, at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, National Geographic Photographer Joel Sartore received the Rungius Medal. The Rungius Medal is presented by the Trustees of the National Museum of Wildlife Art in recognition of lifetime or exceptional contribution to the awareness of wildlife and the habitat necessary for its survival.

Joel Sartore is a photographer, speaker, author, teacher, conservationist, and 24-year contributor to National Geographic magazine. Sartore is also a National Geographic Fellow and the founder of the National Geographic Photo Ark. He has traveled to every continent and specializes in documenting the biodiversity of planet earth. Simply put, he is on a mission to photograph and show a world worth saving.

On winning the award, Sartore said, “To say that this is an honor would be an understatement. My deepest thanks to the Museum, and the fine work they have done for decades. The mission of the National Geographic Photo Ark and the Museum are much the same; to engage the public with the wonders of nature, and be moved to save it, while there’s still time.”

Debbie Petersen, Chairman of the Board of the National Museum of Wildlife Art, quoted Founder Bill Kerr by saying, “Joel Sartore is an ambassador par excellance for the wild, the forgotten and the serene.” Mrs. Petersen continued by stating, “Mr. Sartore has received the Rungius Medal because he is the personification of the mission of the National Museum of Wildlife Art.

A total of 18 medals have been awarded since 1988, including awards given to Mardy Murie, Bob Kuhn, Jane Goodall, and E.O. Wilson.

Prior to Tuesday evening, the most recent medal was given to John F. Turner in 2010.

Sartore believes, “Through the power of visuals, we continue to give a voice to the voiceless. There is no higher calling.”

See Sartore’s exhibition “National Geographic Photo Ark: Photographs by Joel Sartore,” now on display at the National Museum of Wildlife Art through August 20, 2017. Learn more about Sartore and the National Geographic Photo Ark at NatGeoPhotoArk.org.

National Geographic Joel Sartore
Director of the National Museum of Wildlife Art, Steve Seamons (left) and National Geographic Photographer, Joel Sartore (right) with the Rungius Medal. June 28, 2017. Photo by Taylor Woods.
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We came here in the recommendation of a worker at Yellowstone. The museum itself is beautiful, nestled into the hills outside Jackson. The art is stunning. Some feel almost like photographs. Highly recommended.

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