The National Geographic Society was founded in 1888 by 33 leading scientists and academics. Its headquarters were set up in Washington DC, which is also home to the National Geographic Museum.
Dedicated to the ‘increase and diffusion of knowledge’, the National Geographic Society focuses mainly on geography, archaeology, and natural science. But it also draws attention to climate issues and the importance of environmental conservation.
Why was the National Geographic Museum created?
For over 130 years the Society has funded the scientific discoveries and explorations of ‘the best and brightest individuals’, as a means to further our understanding of the planet. The National Geographic Museum was established to showcase this understanding to the world.
What is there to see at the National Geographic Museum?
Through a variety of changing exhibits, featuring symbolic photographs, interactive learning stations, ancient artefacts, and behind-the-scenes action stories, the Museum feeds the curiosities of adults and children alike.
A series of permanent exhibits contain items such as ceramics recovered from a shipwreck by Jacques Cousteau and the camera used by Robert Peary during his expedition to the North Pole.
The most recent exhibit, Beyond King Tut: The Immersive Experience, uses powerful cinematic projections and light displays to transport the visitors to ancient Egypt.
Whilst it does not contain any artefacts – keeping the treasures where they belong, in Tut’s tomb – it does offer insight into the King’s life, allows visitors to virtually enter his tomb, and provides details about the afterlife.
Outside the National Geographic Museum
The National Geographic Society also showcases its work on other platforms. Its website, TV channel, and iconic magazine have inspired generations of eager travellers and aspiring scientists, conservationists, and photographers.
Due to its lack of artefacts, the National Geographic Museum might seem unconventional as an archaeological institute. But nonetheless its creative exhibits and poignant photography instill an important message about preserving ‘the wonders of our world’.
Interested in finding more places like this? Try one of our Scavenger Hunts in DC - untangle cryptic clues as a team, as you are taken on a journey to the most unique, unusual and bizarre corners of Washington DC.