Maggie Steber, a visiting lecturer at the School of Communication, is one of 11 photographers being honored by the National Geographic Society with an exhibition at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C.
The exhibition, Women of Vision: National Geographic Photographers on Assignment, opens Thursday and features 99 images taken by the photographers for the magazine since 2000. The images have been collected for a book of the same title that will be available in March.
Steber, who teaches documentary photography in the Department of Journalism and Media Management, has worked as a documentary photographer in at least 62 countries. She has a particular interest in Haiti, a country where she has traveled regularly since the 1980s. Her book, Dancing on Fire: Photographs from Haiti, with an introduction by Amy Wilentz, was published by Aperture. Some of her images from Haiti can be seen in the website The Audacity of Beauty.
In addition to Steber’s photographs, the National Geographic show includes images by Beverly Joubert, Lynsey Addario, Carolyn Drake, Kitra Cahana, Jodi Cobb, Stephanie Sinclair, Erika Larsen, Lynn Johnson, Diane Cook and Amy Toensing. The exhibition was curated by Elizabeth Krist, a senior photo editor at the magazine. It will be on display until March.
Steber’s work appears regularly in national publications and has been exhibited internationally. In the 1990s, she was director of photography and later assistant managing editor at The Miami Herald. She has also taught in photography seminars all over the world.
For National Geographic, she has photographed stories on Miami, the African slave trade, the Cherokee Nation and Dubai, among other topics. In 2007, her photo essay on memory was published along with a report on the subject by Joshua Foer.
For eight years, Steber chronicled her mother’s life with Alzheimer’s disease. She produced a video, Madje has Dementia, published by AARP in 2008, and a multimedia piece with MediaStorm titled Rite of Passage. Last April, the Leica Gallery in New York City hosted a show of Steber’s work from this period. In conjunction with the show, Steber published a book as a limited edition catalog for the exhibition.
Steber has received multiple awards for her photography, including the Leica Medal of Excellence, first prize for spot news from the World Press Photo Foundation, first prize magazine documentary in Pictures of the Year Overseas Press Club and the Medal of Honor for Distinguished Service to Journalism from the University of Missouri.
The exhibition in Washington is one of several events celebrating the National Geographic Society’s 125th anniversary.