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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Sled Dogs in Arctic Landscape
Department of Anthropology, Arctic Studies Center

Photography in the Arctic

Photography is both a visual art form and a record. As an art form, Wilfred E. Richard interprets the land as a composition. His use of macro images to capture animate and inanimate details portrays a sense of place and study of the Eastern Arctic. The images he has gathered reveal the splendor of a complex region of peoples, lands, plants, and animals.

Photography also has the power to act as record, capturing a moment frozen in time. Richard believes that photographic images are less likely than language to lead to cultural misrepresentation. He presents the Eastern Arctic with the modern technology of photographs in order to capture a moment on the land within its own--rather than an interpreter’s--context of light, texture, pattern, and rhythm.

Richard’s work dwells on how the Eastern Arctic is increasingly under stress from the concomitant forces of global warming, ice melt and extraction of oil, gas, and minerals from its lands and waters. His photography focuses on climate change as it affects the lifeways of northern people. Through his art, the north reveals itself as a relatively unspoiled place where harsh realities still prevail.

Sled Dogs in Arctic Landscape

Dates exhibition will be shown:

October 12, 2012- December 2, 2012

Where exhibition will be featured:

Ripley Center, Main Concourse

Ripley Concourse Layout

About the Photographer:

Will Richard

Wilfred E. Richard, a native northern New Englander, served with the US Marine Corps in East and Southeast Asia. Then he enrolled at the University of New Hampshire, where he completed his BA.    Later, he served in the Peace Corps in Mauritius. After, he went to University of Massachusetts (Amherst) where he received an MA in anthropology. With  several years of working for Maine state government in labor, economic development and tourism units, he went on to earn his PhD in Geography with the Faculty of Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Always fascinated by the North, its peoples and landscape, he began a series of travels to Labrador, Nunavut, and then onto Greenland.  Because of his knowledge of northern life and dedication to a Smithsonian archaeological site on the lower north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Quebec, he was appointed a Research Collaborator with the Arctic Studies Center of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Recently, he was appointed a Research Fellow with Uummannaq (Greenland) Polar Institute.

Co-authored with Dr. William Fitzhugh, Director of the Arctic Studies Center, Will has book in press to be released May 2013; the title is MAINE TO GREENLAND: EXPLORING THE MARITIME FAR NORTHEAST, to be published by Smithsonian Books.

Links for further information on the Photographer and his work:

http://wilfrederichard.com/wrichphoto/index.htm

http://www.wilfrederichard.com/pages/MainetoGreenland%20flyerEDITFINAL.pdf

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