For National Geographic fans in San Antonio, October is your month.
The Briscoe Western Art Museum opens Friday with an exhibition of captivating wildlife photography by acclaimed photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen, National Geographic Live returns Oct. 2 with adventure filmmaker Bryan Smith at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, and the Witte Museum opens with National Geographic Monster Fish: In search of the last river giants Exhibition on Oct 8th
While the show at the Tobin Center lasts only one night, the Witte exhibit runs through January 22nd and the Briscoe show through January 29th.
A life in the wilderness
Although Mangelsen’s animal images have appeared in many places, his work has won several National Geographic awards. His iconic “Catch of the Day” image, a close-up of an Alaskan grizzly bear catching a salmon in its mouth, has been called “one of the most famous and widely shared wildlife photographs of all time.”
This picture from 1988 is front and center Thomas D. Mangelsen: A Life in the Wilderness at the Briscoe Western Art Museum. Mangelsen’s photo captures notable details, including neck scars from an alleged clawing with another bear.
Mangelsen captures such intense detail throughout his oeuvre, which is depicted in the 40 images the artist chose for A life in the wildernessorganized to commemorate 40 years of wildlife photography.
Much of that time was spent sitting and waiting for what he calls “the defining moment,” Mangelsen said in interviews. He once spent 12 to 14 hours a day for 42 days photographing a mother cougar and her cubs at Jackson Hole National Elk Refuge. His images helped start an effort to end sport hunting of cougars in the United States.
About 500 rolls of film at 36 frames per roll were produced during those 42 days, of which few frames were released. In a video accompanying the Briscoe exhibition, Mangelsen describes his “very intense editing process” in which thousands of shots eventually result in “the one image that meets all the criteria for print.”
The Nebraska native, now 70, bought his first Pentax 35mm film camera at the age of 21 and has since photographed on all seven continents. Locations represented among the 40 images in the exhibition include Denali National Park in Alaska, Hudson’s Bay in Canada, Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, Amboseli National Park in Kenya, South Georgia Island in Antarctica and Nebraska’s Platte River, home to the annual sandhill The migration of cranes—an annual journey estimated to date back 10 million years—inspired his enduring love of wildlife.
However, visitors to the Briscoe may not catch a glimpse of the busy photographer. Mangelsen was unavailable for interviews because he’s located deep in Yellowstone National Park and is investigating a long-standing subject: Grizzly 399, dubbed “the most famous bear in the world.”
Briscoe Western Art Museum tickets include admission Thomas D. Mangelsen: A Life in the Wilderness. Several Mangelsen books are available in the museum’s gift shop, including the large format catalog for A life in the wildernessavailable for $90.
Capturing the impossible
Continuing its series of National Geographic live events, the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts presents “Capturing the Impossible” with filmmaker Bryan Smith on October 2nd.
Smith began his green career as an extreme kayaker protesting a dam project in his native British Columbia, Canada. He co-produced The season Online television series documenting outdoor adventurers and has done field work for Patagonia, the Discovery Network and the National Geographic Channel, including the series Monster Fish.
Tickets for National Geographic Live are available on the Tobin Center website.
The National Geographic Exposition Monster Fish: In search of the last river giants will open on October 8th at the Witte Museum.
The show brings the Nat Geo television series Monster Fish and the work of its host, aquatic ecologist Zeb Hogan, to the museum through large scale models, images and interactive exhibits.
A special section of the exhibit, put together by Witte employees, features “monster fish” found in Texas, including the alligator cookfish and record-breaking specimens of paddlefish, largemouth bass and catfish.
Monster Fish: In search of the last river giants requires special exhibition tickets, available on the Witte Museum website.