Afghan Girl 1984. Photo: Steve McCurry.

World’s best photos coming to Nelson


An exhibition featuring some of the world’s best and most famous photos is coming to Nelson, to transport visitors “behind the lens”.

‘National Geographic: 50 Greatest Photos’ opens at the Nelson Provincial Museum this Saturday, showcasing some of the greatest photo-journalism of the late 20th century.

The photographs span a time range from 1965 to 2009, with subjects ranging from environmental issues and international cultures to extraordinary places around the world.

From Steve McCurry’s 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 – visitors will learn the stories behind the photos and see videos with behind-the-scenes stories and interviews with the photographers.

The exhibition has toured the world extensively for the last 10 years and Nelson is its third stop in New Zealand.

Lucinda Blackley-Jimson, chief executive of the Nelson Provincial Museum, says that they are “delighted” to secure such an important exhibition for the region.

“This is the first time we have had the opportunity to work with National Geographic, and it’s a natural partnership for us,” she says. “We have an extremely strong local photographic collection, and Nelsonians have always had a passion for photography, from the early days of William and Fred Tyree to F N Jones and Rose Franks.”

In addition to seeing the photos as they appeared in the magazine, 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.

They will also be able to hear accounts of places travelled to and the remarkable people the photographers met in the pursuit of their photo-journalist work.

“These photographs really are the very best examples of photo-journalist work in the world and the exhibition has proven extremely popular wherever it has been shown,” says Lucinda.

“It is an amazing opportunity to present such powerful images and the stories behind them to Nelson, opening a window on the wider world to our peaceful corner of the planet.”

The exhibition will run from 17 March until 27 May 2018 at the Nelson Provincial Museum and is free of charge for Nelson Tasman residents.