A new photography exhibition opened July 2nd at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum & Aquarium: The Search for Something Different: Photographs of Beach and Marine Life by Amy Tripp.


Photographer and conchologist Amy Tripp has a unique curiosity, vision, and gift for discovering moments of rarity and wonder in the sometimes-obscured world of Southwest Florida’s mollusks. As a photographer she captures these moments vividly, providing the viewer uncommon and compelling records of the biology, behavior, and habitats of these animals that create some of the most beloved seashells in the Gulf of Mexico.


“The first time I saw the eyes of what could be called a face on a mollusk, I was hooked,” said Amy Tripp. “One of the great things is the search for something different. Looking at all the images I took every day was the emphasis that compelled me to continue photographing mollusks.”


This new exhibition presents some of Tripp’s most surprising finds on the beaches of Southwest Florida from over 20 years of exploration. From the ocean to mud flats to oyster beds, Tripp’s lens captures the science, beauty, and interplay of mollusks at all stages of life, and their surrounding ecosystems, in ways that educate and delight.


The Search for Something Different is co-curated by Tripp and Dr. José H. Leal, Science Director and Curator at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum & Aquarium.


“The Museum has been a long-time admirer of Amy’s photographs, which are superb teaching instruments as well as great pictures,” said Museum Executive Director Sam Ankerson. “Her work is well known to shell enthusiasts in Southwest Florida, and we’re excited now to share it with a wider audience.”


The photography exhibition is open during regular Museum hours with paid admission. Learn more at ShellMuseum.org/special-exhibitions.


About the Museum: The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum & Aquarium is a natural history museum and aquarium, and the only museum in the United States devoted primarily to shells and mollusks. Its mission is to use exceptional collections, aquariums, programs, experiences, and science to be the nation’s leading museum in the conservation, preservation, interpretation, and celebration of shells, the mollusks that create them, and their ecosystems. For more information, please visit ShellMuseum.org or call (239) 395-2233.