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TO MAY 12, 2002

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Though packed with more than 100 exceptional black-and-white and color pieces of photojournalism culled from a century’s worth of archives, the Newseum’s new exhibition, “National Geographic’s Women Photographers: A Different Focus,” is compelling for more than just its art: The exhibit’s 40 featured photographers are—without question—fearless badasses. Take Dorothy Hosmer: In 1937, the 26-year-old Hosmer wrote to the National Geographic Society, asking if it would be interested in photos from a bicycle trip she planned to take through Poland and Romania. Hosmer, now 90, spent four years traveling the world—”at a time,” she remembers, “when girls didn’t do that.” Her image of gypsies begging in Romania hangs along with contemporary work by Alexandra Boulat, whose photographs of Kosovo—in ruins, burying its dead—document the devastation of war. Harriet Chalmers Adams, whose At a Bullfight (1924) is on display, was an adventurer, war correspondent, writer, and photographer who traveled the length of Chile, crossed Haiti on horseback, and had 21 stories published in National Geographic from 1907 to 1935. She was, said her obituary, “a confidant of savage head hunters.” Contemporary photographer Maria Stenzel’s Pancake Ice (pictured) was taken during a 50-day-long trip through Antarctica aboard a 7,600-ton research vessel; the icebreaker’s scientists were studying sea ice in minus-22-degree-Fahrenheit waters. “I felt like I had left the Earth and gone to another planet,” Stenzel says. “There were 43 of us—the only humans in a chunk of territory the size of Europe. It was both scary and awesome. It was a miracle to witness.” Learn what moxie really means from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday to Sunday, May 12, 2002, at the Newseum, 1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Free. (703) 284-3544. (Jennifer Agresta)