Iconic Photographer Steve McCurry Visits Punahou

From April 1 – 3, the Punahou Art Department hosted renowned photographer Steve McCurry as a highlight of Punahou’s Creative Greats program, showcasing his global work that blends portraiture, journalism, landscapes and fine art.

Known for the iconic “Afghan Girl” photo, McCurry’s mastery in color, light and composition has defined his five-decade career, marked by National Geographic features, Magnum Photos membership and the 1987 Medal of Honor. Now in his 70s, this Philadelphia native was also chosen to shoot the last roll of Kodak’s Kodachrome film, a symbol of his prominence in the photography world.

During his stay, McCurry engaged with students and faculty through classroom visits, critiques and by sharing insights into his photographic process. His visit was complemented by a gallery exhibit and community event. 

The school-hosted exhibit in Bishop Learning Commons is a showcase of McCurry’s photographs, with a focus on the theme of water. On display through April 17, the selected works underscore the human connection to water across all seven continents. The photos have inspired and motivated students to recreate McCurry’s themes in their own photo projects. 

A panel discussion on Tuesday draw nearly 300 attendees to the Chapel and centered on McCurry’s global travels and adventures. Attendees also visited the gallery and interacted with the photographer.

Supported by the Class of 1950 Distinguished Speakers Fund, the Creative Greats program connects the Punahou community with legendary figures in the arts, including guests from Pixar Animation Studios last May.

Photos by Steve McCurry

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