Sir Joseph Banks: The Greening of the Empire Exhibit
In 1996, the National Geographic office in London asked Cary to put on a show about the 18th century British entrepreneur, Sir Joseph Banks, but they needed the exhibit in two months time. The Natural History Museum of London offered their exhibit space off the main hall, just behind the brontosaurus on one condition—that it be a history/science exhibit, not just a gallery show of his photographs.
This presented NGS in London with a big problem—NGS in DC was not prepared to create a show that quickly. Cary asked if I was interested. Hell, yes! I flew to London the next day to start measuring and meeting with the museum and production services. We all realized what the flow would need to be—design all the layouts and print all photographs in the states, send the design files to the UK, then have all the backgrounds printed and mounted in London.
I immediately designed the exhibit's logo to be used for the show's promotion and for a large banner to hang in the Natural History Museum. A week later, I requested a scan of Banks signature and when it arrived, his J and the B were a perfect match to my logo's initial caps.
We all believed the Sir Joe was watching over us as we rushed to complete the exhibit in less than 8 weeks.
Each of the 40 10' high panels for the exhibit varied in width depending on their position in the hall and the story they needed to tell. We broke the exhibit into two parts—Banks trip with Captain Cook on the HMS Endeavour and his life after the voyage. Sepia toned images from the Bank's Florilegium were used as design elements on the bottom section of the panels. The panel designs were printed without the photographs—just the text, drawings and background images. When Cary's photographs arrived in the UK, they were mounted on the the already printed panels. Click on the gallery below to view some of the panels—
Client: National Geographic magazine
Exhibit Director: Jennifer Moseley
Graphic Designer: Babs Wolinsky
Photographer: Cary Wolinsky
Writer: Cliff Tarpy
Editor: Patricia Boulos
Production: Service Visual Communications