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State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release April 23, 2009

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

Iowan David Thoreson discusses his world explorations next week

“An Arctic Journey in a Changing World” at the State Historical Building

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

He will discuss those experiences and sign books during “An Arctic Journey in a Changing World” at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 30, 2009, at the State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines. The event is free and open to the public. Thoreson’s presentation will be preceded by a reception at 6:30 p.m. and is being offered in conjunction with “20 Years/20 Stories,” a new exhibit at the State Historical Museum that showcases his world adventures.

During the presentation, Thoreson will show his current documentary, “An Arctic Journey in a Changing World,” that was released with Iowa Public Television in December 2008. His next adventure will be sailing “Around the Americas” in collaboration with the Pacific Science Center and Sailors for the Sea.

Before its arrival at the State Historical Museum, “20 Years/20 Stories” opened in the summer of 2007 at the Pearson Lakes Art Center in Okoboji. 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. The exhibit travel is supported in part by a grant from Humanities Iowa.

“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.”

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.

 

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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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