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Distinguished Speaker: Steve McCurry

Great Hall
$15 ($12 for members)
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Join us for a lecture in the Great Hall by photographer and photojournalist Steve McCurry, whose work includes the celebrated portrait Afghan Girl (1984). Drawing from Steve’s distinguished and multi-decade career, we’ll learn about his experiences as a continent-crossing journalist, the people and struggles his work called attention to, and the ongoing efforts of refugee resettlement right here in Northwest Arkansas with Canopy NWA. Not an event to miss, this presentation promises to be informative, insightful, and full of fascinating stories.


Keep an eye on this page to watch the talk via livestream on December 2.

The stream will begin 15-20 minutes before the scheduled start of the event. Please allow for small delays as we work to provide the best virtual experience possible.



Girl with red cloak
© Steve McCurry

About Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry headshot
© Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry has been one of the most iconic voices in contemporary photography for more than 40 years, with scores of magazines and book covers, over a dozen books, and countless exhibitions around the world to his name.

Born in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, McCurry studied film at Pennsylvania State University, before going on to work for a local newspaper. After several years of freelance work, McCurry made his first of what would become many trips to India. Traveling with little more than a bag of clothes and another of film, he made his way across the subcontinent, exploring the country with his camera.

It was after several months of travel that he found himself crossing the border into Pakistan. There, he met a group of refugees from Afghanistan, who smuggled him across the border into their country, just as the Russian Invasion was closing the country to all western journalists. Emerging in traditional dress, with full beard and weather-worn features after weeks embedded with the Mujahideen, McCurry brought the world the first images of the conflict in Afghanistan, putting a human face to the issue on every masthead.

Since then, McCurry has gone on to create stunning images on all seven continents and countless countries. His work spans conflicts, vanishing cultures, ancient traditions, and contemporary culture alike—yet always retains the human element that made his celebrated image of the Afghan Girl such a powerful image.

McCurry has been recognized with some of the most prestigious awards in the industry, including the Robert Capa Gold Medal, National Press Photographers Award, and an unprecedented four first prize awards from the World Press Photo contest. The Minister of French Culture has also appointed McCurry a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters and most recently, the Royal Photographic Society in London awarded McCurry the Centenary Medal for Lifetime Achievement.

Men sitting on the ground
© Steve McCurry

McCurry has published books including The Imperial Way (1985), Monsoon (1988), Portraits (1999), South Southeast (2000), Sanctuary (2002), The Path to Buddha: A Tibetan Pilgrimage (2003), Steve McCurry (2005), Looking East (2006), In the Shadow of Mountains (2007), The Unguarded Moment, (2009), The Iconic Photographs (2011), Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs (2013), From These Hands: A Journey Along the Coffee Trail (2015), India (2015), On Reading (2016), Afghanistan (2017), A Life in Pictures (2018), Animals (2019), In Search of Elsewhere (2020), and Stories & Dreams: Portraits of Childhood, (fall 2021).

“Steve is an artist, a photographer, and a traveler who uses photography as a way to experience the world. He doesn’t shirk from a gale. He doesn’t wince at a storm. He’ll jump into it and find what it offers. On the other hand, neither is he afraid of times when the wind doesn’t blow. He certainly is good in stillness as well as hurricanes.” Dr. Anthony Bannon, Former Director of the George Eastman Museum

“Steve McCurry has captured the terrible human consequences of war and persecution like few others, and for decades has impacted the way we see world events. We owe him a debt of gratitude and recognition.” Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, Chairman of the Board of Leica Camera AG

Per the CDC’s updated guidelines, we are now requiring all guests ages 2 and up and staff to wear a face covering indoors and while attending outdoor programs, except while eating or drinking. Masks will be available upon entry for those who do not have one.

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