Remains of a Rainbow: Rare Plants and Animals of Hawaii
Photographs by David Liittschwager and Susan Middleton
An Umbrage Editions Traveling Exhibition In Association
with Environmental Defense

Often called "the endangered species capital of the world," Hawaii's varied ecological communities contain over a quarter of the plants and animals on the U.S. Endangered Species List. For the past fifteen years, David Liittschwager and Susan Middleton’s intimate portraits of endangered species have invited viewers to look at those creatures close-up, appreciate the elegance of their features, and discover kinship in unexpected faces.

Whether a tiny Happy Face Spider or a Hawaiian Hawk, a photograph by Middleton and Liittschwager gives us an intimate glimpse of a species that we often only know as a statistic. Their work has been praised by Edward O. Wilson, featured in the display windows of Tiffany’s, and profiled in a best-selling National Geographic video. Liittschwager and Middleton’s artistry and dedication to working in concert with the scientists who know their subjects best have gained them unparalleled access to Hawaii's rarest species. Working with biologists from  Environmental Defense,  the National Tropical Botanical Garden, The Nature Conservancy and elsewhere, Middleton and Liittschwager reveal the often-heroic efforts by scientists and civilians alike to preserve the living jewels unique to this archipelago. The tour will open in October 2001 at the Honolulu Academy of Arts in Honolulu, HI.


• 18 dye transfer prints (20 x 20"),
  47 electronic pigment prints
  (twenty 24 x 24", twenty-two 34 x 34",
  and five (34 x 44") to occupy  225 linear
  feet, framed in brushed metal under UV plexi
• 65 labels (fifty-seven 6.5 x 11" and
  eight 8.5 x 11") with species notes
• 2 text panels (30 X 20")
• One 34 X 44" title panel
• One flat-screen display with 125
  additional digital images
• Publication: Remains of a Rainbow:
  Rare Plants and Animals of Hawaii
• Film
• Photographers are available for lecture series
• Rental Fee: $7500



 About the Photographers

David Liittschwager and Susan Middleton have been photographing endangered animals and plants since 1986. Their collaborative work has appeared in Witness: Endangered Species of North America (Chronicle Books, 1994), and Here Today: Portraits of Our Vanishing Species (Chronicle Books, 1991). Their work was the subject of “America’s Endangered Species: Don’t Say Goodbye,” an Emmy Award–winning National Geographic television special that aired on NBC. Middleton’s and Liittschwager’s photographs have been exhibited and published throughout the world, and they lecture widely about their work. They were the joint recipients of a 1999 Bay & Paul Foundations Biodiversity Leadership Award. Since 1998 Liittschwager and Middleton have been working in association with Environmental Defense to photograph rare plants, animals, and habitats of the Hawaiian Islands.

David Liittschwager is a freelance photographer who grew up in Eugene, Oregon. His most significant training occurred while assisting photographer Richard Avedon in New York City from 1984 through 1986. Since 1986 his emphasis has been on portraiture, focused primarily on natural history subjects. His work has led him to six continents and has appeared in publications throughout the world. He lives and works in San Francisco.

Susan Middleton has been deeply involved in the documentation and portraiture of endangered animals, plants, sites, people, and cultures for the last 25 years. She chaired the California Academy of Sciences department of photography from 1982 to 1995, and since then has worked extensively in West Africa. In 1985 she spent a year working with Richard Avedon in New York City. Her photographs have appeared in books, journals, magazines, and exhibitions worldwide. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Middleton lectures and writes about her work.



back to top