Photoworks Presents Amy Toensing Two Stories

By Editorial Team on April 25, 2022

Fri, 15 April 2022 - Sun, 15 May 2022

From Widowhood documentary project. A 95-year-old widow lies in the courtyard of the Amar Bari Ashram in the Gyan Gudari neighborhood of Vrindavan, India. Photograph by Amy Toensing.

Photoworks hosts acclaimed National Geographic photographer Amy Toensing for a solo exhibition of her work in the Photoworks Gallery April 15 to May 15, 2022. Toensing is a photojournalist and filmmaker known for her intimate stories about the lives of ordinary people.

On April 23 from 10 am to noon, Toensing will offer a limited number of private portfolio review sessions for photographers working on a documentary project. Sessions are by appointment only. For more information or to request a portfolio review, please contact Emily Whiting at

The exhibit, Two Stories, will include 25 photographs selected from two documentary projects in Toensing’s extensive portfolio of work, which has been widely published. In A World of Widows, a collaboration with writer Cynthia Gorney and videographer Kathryn Carlson, Toensing reports on the extreme hardships facing widows in many parts of the world, where a husband’s death may plunge a woman into circumstances of poverty, powerlessness and abuse. Of the subjects in these photographs, Toensing has said: “The widows themselves are their own eloquent biographers — as are the local social workers, lawyers and charity organizations helping these women find a stronger voice and perhaps a more joyful life.”

These images are juxtaposed against Toensing’s Jersey Shore series, a documentary project examining what the photographer has described as the “strange beauty” of an insular seaside community. Together, Two Stories invites us to experience the world as documentary photographers, who recognize stories in both foreign lands and closer to home.

Artist Bio
Toensing has been a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine for over two decades. She has photographed cultures around the world including the last cave dwelling tribe of Papua New Guinea, remote Aboriginal Australia, the Maori of New Zealand and the Kingdom of Tonga. She has also covered issues such as food insecurity in the United States, the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and Muslim women living in Western culture. She is currently working on her sixteenth feature story for National Geographic magazine on how conservation projects impact surrounding culture and community. Toensing has also co-directed short documentary films about urban refugee children in Nairobi and the marginalization of widows in Uganda.

Toensing’s work has been exhibited throughout the world and recognized with numerous awards, including two solo exhibits at Visa Pour L’image, Festival of the Photograph in Perpignan France (2012 and 2017). Her work has also appeared in Smithsonian, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time Magazine, and National Geographic Traveler. One of her Australian outback photographs was chosen as one of National Geographic magazine’s all time, 50 Best Photos. Toensing’s work is currently included in the group exhibit Women of Vision celebrating National Geographic magazine’s female photographers.

Toensing began her professional career in 1994 as a staff photographer at her New Hampshire hometown paper, The Valley News. She then worked for The New York Times Washington DC bureau covering the White House and Capitol Hill during the Clinton administration. In 1998, Toensing left DC to obtain her Master’s Degree from Ohio University, School of Visual Communication.

In addition to her photojournalism and film work, Toensing teaches photography to kids and young adults in underserved communities, including Burmese refugees in Baltimore, young photojournalist in Islamabad, Pakistan and Syrian refugee children in Jordan. Currently, Toensing is an Assistant Professor of Visual Storytelling at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

About Photoworks
Fifty years ago, in a derelict building hidden among the abandoned amusement park rides of Glen Echo Park, four young photographers founded Photoworks with little more than a shared passion for the daily work of seeing, shooting and printing images of lasting beauty and artistic integrity. The day-to-day collaboration, creative dialogue and informal mentoring that led those artists to successful careers as fine art and commercial photographers established the values of experimentation and collegiality that define Photoworks today. Offering a diverse combination of educational programs, gallery exhibitions and community initiatives, Photoworks is a vibrant and unique resource for students and professional photographers – an arts community in the very best sense of the word.

Photoworks offers photography classes for all ages. The gallery is open to the public Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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Photoworks is located at 7300 Macarthur Blvd, Glen Echo, MD.