About the State Historical Society > News > 2009

State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release March 11, 2009

Contact: Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov, (515) 281-3858

Twenty years of global exploration captured in exhibit

Arnolds Park’s David Thoreson travels the world; brings it home to Iowa

(DES MOINES) – David Thoreson – explorer, adventurer, sailor, photographer, writer and educator from Arnolds Park, Iowa – has spent the past 20 years documenting his world travels through photography, Ipods, journal entries and film.

 On Sunday, an exhibit featuring his work visits the State Historical Museum through Sept. 13, 2009. The State Historical Museum is at 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines. Hours are 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and Noon-4:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free and open to the public.

 The exhibit – “20 Years/20 Stories” – first opened at the Pearson Lakes Art Center in Okoboji about 18 months ago. It showcases Thoreson’s travels around the world: he has bicycled 10,000 solo miles across the United States and Canada, sailed 36,000 miles around the planet – including both Polar Regions – and crossed the Atlantic Ocean three times by sail. His most recent adventure took him through the Northwest Passage in 2007.

 Using fine art photography with the written and spoken word, the exhibit depicts exploration and evolution of life around the world. By themselves, the stories and images are only fragments of time and travel. Woven together, they present a storyline of the human condition, wild and remote places, and of the finite environment in which we live.

 “With its adventure travel, human rights and climate change themes, there is something here for everyone,” Thoreson said. “The climate change issue is the key ending story in the exhibit and the topic which I most enjoy discussing with audiences.”

 Thoreson is tentatively scheduled to deliver a public presentation at the Historical Museum and visit with students at several Central Iowa schools in April. More information will be announced as it is confirmed.

 While his work has been featured at the Smithsonian Institution and in numerous publications, books and award-winning television documentaries, Thoreson is planning his next great adventure: a circumnavigation of the Americas beginning in May in Seattle.

 Thoreson’s route will take him 25,000 miles around Alaska, through the Northwest Passage, down the eastern seaboard of the United States, around Cape Horn and up the west coasts of South America and Central America before returning to Seattle in July 2010.


The State Historical Society of Iowa is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and is a trustee of Iowa's historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa's past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa's historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state. Visit www.iowahistory.org or call 515-281-5111 for more information.


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