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Spineless: Portraits of Marine Invertebrates by Susan Middleton

February 15, 2017 - June 23, 2017

NAS Building, 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W.

Free. Photo ID required.

In Spineless, acclaimed photographer Susan Middleton explores the mysterious and surprising world of marine invertebrates, which represent more than 98 percent of the known animal species in the ocean. They are also astonishingly diverse in their shapes, patterns, textures, and colors--in nature's fashion show, they are the haute couture of marine life.

This exhibition of remarkable images is the result of seven years of painstaking fieldwork across the Pacific Ocean, using photographic techniques that Middleton developed to capture these extremely fragile creatures on camera. Middleton's photographs offer a stunning new view of nature that harmoniously combines art and science.

Susan Middleton is an acclaimed photographer, author, and lecturer specializing in the portraiture of rare and endangered animals, plants, sites, and cultures. For thirteen years she was the chair of the Department of Photography at the California Academy of Sciences, where she now serves as research associate. Her most recent books are Spineless (2014) is Evidence of Evolution (Abrams 2009). Previous books in collaboration with David Liittschwager include Archipelago, Remains of a Rainbow (National Geographic), Witness, and Here Today (Chronicle Books). Her photographs have been exhibited worldwide in fine art and natural history contexts, and are represented in the permanent collections of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Gallery of Art. She was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship in 2009. She lives in San Francisco.

Watch: A short video about the exhibition at NAS

Watch: Hermit Crabs! A film by Susan Middleton

Watch: Spineless a Mary Piller film with Susan Middleton

Image: Three-lined Nudibranch (Flabellina trilineata) from the series Spineless

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