Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Feodor Pitcairn's Iceland Revealed Exhibit at Smithsonian

A Smithsonian staff member in the hall outside Iceland Revealed exhibit
Pennypack's founder Feodor Pitcairn is a very accomplished nature photographer.  Though he worked in his family's financial business, his true love was photography.  He began his photographic career making stunning, natural-light undersea still images, then graduated to undersea videography. 

At 80 years old, he has forsaken diving (too dangerous, he claims; he has related some really "close calls").  Now he photographs terrestrial landscapes with high definition equipment.  He has spent the last several years making expeditions to Iceland, which has resulted in an exhibition of his work at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History in Washington opening on July 2, 2015.

Mr. Pitcairn collaborated with Icelandic poet Ari Trausti Gu├░mundsson to "reveal a land of fire, ice, hardy life, and natural beauty. Visitors to the exhibit experience the remote beauty of Iceland, a land sculpted by the elements and forged by active geologic activity."
Enjoying the exhibit
Mr. Pitcairn organized a bus tour to Washington for a group of his friends for the exhibit's opening on June 30, and my wife Mary and I were invited to come along.  It was the culmination of years of work, and he was in "seventh heaven."
A beaming Mr. Pitcairn
A well-known Icelandic folk troupe with the (translated) name "Seasons" happened to be in town on tour and entertained the crowd during the reception.  During the mingling after the formal speechifying, Mary and I had a chance to speak with the Icelandic Ambassador to the United States and former Icelandic Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde.  He gave us his card and invited us to contact him if we wanted some "special considerations" should we choose to visit Iceland.

Though Mr. Pitcairn's images are striking, Mary's not much motivated by stark, sere landscapes.  I doubt we'll take Mr. Haarde up on his offer.

Mr. Pitcairn has also published an art book of his Icelandic images.  Pennypack can obtain copies for anyone interested in buying the book.

Submitted by David Robertson
Executive Director   

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