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Meet Frank Greenwell: Photography

Frank GreenwellFrank GreenwellFrank Greenwell

Frank Greenwell has been observing and photographing wildlife and landscapes in the United States and around the world for the past 50 years. As a very young boy he had a keen interest and appreciation of all the wonder that nature has to offer.

Although many people take an interest in wildflowers, birds, and mammals, few have ever observed them from the vantage point of Frank’s close-up lenses. His work underscores his belief that the first step toward saving our environment lies in understanding nature and inter-relationships among different forms of life. By using close-up lenses, sometimes even attaching a portable microscopic lens to his camera, he reveals to the viewer seldom observed and little known details of nature. “The camera is a way of seeing things in a more dynamic perspective.” Frank says. “It is not just a tool but an instrument whereby one can extend their visual images.”

Much of Frank’s work has been exhibited in local galleries and in the rotunda of the National Museum of Natural History, part of the Smithsonian Institution, as well other areas of the United States. His photographs have appeared in books and journals, nationally and internationally.

Frank recently retired from the Smithsonian Institution where he served as Chief Taxidermist/Conservator. At the beginning of his career at the Smithsonian, he was part of the team that mounted the African elephant still on exhibit in the Rotunda of the Natural History Building. In 1981 he completely restored that elephant and the World’s record Bengal Tiger in 1985. Over the years, Frank has conducted many scientific expeditions in select remote areas around the world for the Smithsonian and refurbished many animals that President Theodore Roosevelt collected in the early 1900s. In the 1980s he traveled extensively for the Smithsonian National Associates giving lecture/slide presentations.

After nearly 50 years, Frank recently returned to Leonardtown, MD where he was born and raised. He now resides with his wife Pat, in Singletree.