13 - May 24, 2004
of the Subcontinent and resident of the Northwest, Banerjee is considered
among the nation's finest outdoor and nature photographers. A profile
in the current Vanity Fair noted that "Banerjee's landscapes
seem epic, and there is something about them that is haunting. ...
His photographs have an authenticity, a gravitas,, and a beauty
that more rote imagery is without...."
is best known for his work photographing the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge, a project he began in October 2000. His work, published
in his now acclaimed book, documents the biodiversity of the Arctic
Refuge landscape and its indigenous cultures.
year photographic journey in the refuge, in remote northeastern
Alaska, covered 4,000 miles, by foot, raft, kayak, and snowmobile
in all four seasons, accompanied by his friend and Inupiat guide,
Robert Thompson. Working in blizzards with a wind chill of 100 degrees
Fahrenheit below zero was not uncommon.
When not exploring the
refuge, Banerjee lived with native Gwich’in, Athabascan, and
Inupiat families, where he learned their way of life and came to
understand their relationship to the land and the wild animals that
an engineer and physicist by training, Banerjee’s photographic
career stemmed from his childhood passion for painting, coupled with
a deep love and concern for the wilderness and disappearing indigenous
cultures. Before starting his career in photography, Banerjee worked
in the scientific fields for six years, with Los Alamos National Lab
in New Mexico and Boeing in Seattle.
• Solo exhibits of his work have been displayed at the California
Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, the American Museum of Natural
History in New York, and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural
History in Washington (the latter ending in September). His show
at the California Academy of Sciences traveled to other museums
starting in January 2004.
• Banerjee continues to work closely with conservation organizations
and members of Congress to educate the public about the need to
protect the arctic refuge from development. His cross country schedule
has taken him to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco;
the prestigious Explorers Club in New York; the Smithsonian; MIT;
the Mountain Film Festival in Telluride; the Banff Mountain Book
Festival in Alberta; and places in between.
• His arctic refuge project has been featured in interviews
and lectures on NPR, CNN, and CSPAN, and his images have appeared
in Vanity Fair, Newsweek, Discover, Outside, Audubon, Sierra, National
Wildlife, Natural History, Wildlife Conservation, Smithsonian, The
New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and the Seattle
• Banerjee is the first recipient of the Lannan Fellowship
for Cultural Freedom from the Lannan Foundation. He has also received
a Special Achievement Award from the Sierra Club and the Daniel
Housberg Award from the Alaska Conservation Foundation.
-- Subhankar Banerjee
Talking Points, Organized by PSU, the Canadian Consulate General
of Seattle, The Wilderness Society, and the Alaska Coalition--
3rd Floor Galleries
Curators: Keni Sturgeon
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February 26, 2008