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Mariana Cook Lecture On ’Faces Of Science’ At The Nas


Washington – Photographer Mariana Cook will speak about her exhibit, “Faces of Science,” on Thursday, May 17, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. This free event will take place in Room 100 of the National Academies’ Keck Center, located at 500 Fifth St., N.W., Washington, D.C. Doors open at 5 p.m.; a photo ID is required for admittance.

In this body of work, Mariana Cook turns her camera on some of the most prominent men and women of the scientific community, with the purpose of “humanizing” these great scientists.

In the text that accompanies each portrait, which was either written by the subject or pulled from interviews conducted by Cook, the photographer asked the scientists to speak about themselves. What kind of childhoods did they have? How did they first become interested in science? What psychological needs may have drawn them to and been satisfied by their work? Why did they choose their particular field of research? In response, some concentrated more on the scientific query; others, on the personal. There is often a combination of the two. The portraits together with the texts offer a look into the humanity of an extraordinary group of people. Their intellectual curiosity, wish to help mankind, and ability to work with others to accomplish their tasks serve as a testament to a unique confluence of remarkable human qualities.

Mariana Cook was born in 1955 in New York City, where she lives today with her husband and daughter. The last protégée of renowned photographer Ansel Adams, Cook is best-known for her intimate character studies of people both in and out of the public eye. Her photographs are held in a number of national and international collections, including those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Her latest book, “Faces of Science,” was published by W.W. Norton in the fall of 2005. A forthcoming book of photographs, “Close at Hand” (published by Quantuck Lane Press, distributed by W.W. Norton), will be published this fall.

“Faces of Science” will be on view by appointment at the Keck Center from May 10 through July 30. Call 202-334-2436 to make a viewing appointment. The exhibition will then move to the National Academy of Sciences’ headquarters at 2100 C St., N.W., Washington, D.C., where it will be on public view from Aug. 1 through Sept. 30, 2007.


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