Cleveland Museum of Natural History Opens Polar Obsession Exhibition

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History presents Polar Obsession an exhibition on view October 8, 2011 through January 22, 2012.

Photographer Paul Nicklen has spent two decades capturing images of the Arctic and Antarctica, a “remote, raw, unforgiving, beautiful, and yet extremely fragile world.” His photography illustrates both his passion for the environment and a deep commitment to conservation. The images take visitors underwater and across the ice, delivering a unique close-up of wildlife in the Arctic and Antarctic. View nearly 60 striking images of the world’s polar regions in this exhibit.

Nicklen, who regards himself as an ambassador for polar life, grew up in a small Inuit community in the Canadian Arctic. From an early age he learned how to survive in the frozen terrain and developed a passion for the wildlife around him. Today his expeditions take him to the ends of the Earth in pursuit of rare, close-up photographs of polar species, their intriguing ways and their environs. Constantly honing his understanding of wildlife behavior in order to approach the animals in their most intimate natural settings, he uses photography to dispel myths, reveal rarely seen behaviors and intensify the world’s interest in the entire polar ecosystem.

The exhibit is drawn from Nicklen’s book “Polar Obsession” (ISBN: 978-1-4262-0511-8; $50; hardcover), which showcases important insights into animal behavior, the fragile polar environment and climate change that threatens the ice and its inhabitants.

From huge elephant seals, leopard seals, whales, walruses, narwhals and polar bears to penguins, albatrosses, petrels, arctic cod and tiny krill, Nicklen, an underwater photography specialist, captures the beauty of a wide variety of polar animals, large and small, and the icy paradise in which they live. Each scene is bathed in polar light, surreal and breathtakingly beautiful.

“The polar regions are disappearing quickly, and I want my photo essays to stand as a reminder of what is at stake. It is my mission to bring the rare, remote and threatened to caring people who can enjoy and help protect these lands and creatures,” he writes in his book introduction.

“Polar Obsession” is free with Museum admission. Admission fees are: $10 adults; $8 ages 7-18, college students with valid ID and seniors over age 60; $7 children ages 3-6; free for children 2 and under. The Museum is located at 1 Wade Oval Drive in University Circle, 15 minutes east of downtown Cleveland. For Museum information, call 216-231-4600 or 800-317-9155 or visit

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