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Online Extra

Remembering Kurt

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He documented the world through his camera lens, photographing the U.S. capital by night, capturing the vibrance of traditional cultures in Angola and Mozambique, even shooting all of India, where he rigged a surplus army ambulance to serve as a rolling darkroom, complete with sleeping quarters. National Geographic photographer Volkmar Kurt Wentzel carried that ingenuity everywhere he went, and it served him and the Society well during his 48 years on staff. A German immigrant who retired as a member of the magazine's Foreign Editorial Staff, Kurt died May 10 at the age of 91. For those who knew him and his work, it's hard to imagine him having done anything less than it all.
These images, taken between 1940 and 1978, are a small sample of a portfolio amassed by a spectacularly talented man.