Ho Chi Minh's tomb, Hanoi, 1988. Photo by Geoffrey Clifford.


Archived exhibitions are no longer available for booking but are maintained as a virtual record of past Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) programs.

Geoffrey Clifford first saw Vietnam as a 21-year-old army lieutenant during the war. Flying helicopter missions in the early 1970s, the young American could only see the country’s beautiful and unfamiliar terrain while airborne. Back at his secured base, Clifford was frustrated by his inability to explore the incredible landscape of Vietnam, to walk its back roads, and to meet its people.

Thirteen years after leaving Da Nang, Clifford, now a professional photographer, traveled to Vietnam with the first group tour of American veterans allowed back into the post-war nation. On his return, Clifford discovered a land of striking natural beauty, ancient cultures, and gracious people—a world that he had never known during the war. Inspired by this first peacetime journey, Clifford has since made more than 20 trips to Vietnam, returning to photograph a nation that we, as Americans, are still trying to understand politically and emotionally.

Vietnam: Journey of the Heart presents 52 breathtaking images of post-war Vietnam taken by Clifford over a decade and a half. From ballet students in Hanoi to duck herders in the countryside, Clifford’s colorful 24” x 36” photographs capture the diverse people, landscapes, and lifestyles of a culture striving to move peacefully into a new century. The exhibition includes images of Vietnam’s urban life, rural farms, and extraordinary topography, as well as portraits and commercial and cultural scenes. Descriptive text by respected author and translator John Balaban accompanies each photograph.

Clifford’s photographic work in Vietnam, and around the world, has brought him international acclaim. His award-winning photographs have appeared in books, magazines, and other publications worldwide.

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Exhibition specifications

Contents 52 framed color photographs, text panels, map panel, labels

Speaker list, bibliography, film guide, internet resource list

Participation Fee

$3,000 for an 8-week booking period


300 running feet (90 running meters)

Crates 7

775 kg ( 1,640 lb.)

Category Art

Limited, with light restrictions

Shipping Outgoing; host museum arranges outgoing shipping and pays carrier directly
SITES Contacts

Ed Liskey, 202.633.3142 (Scheduling)

Tour Through

To be determined

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Tour itinerary

Dates   Host Institution Status
8/25/01 10/21/01 Sunrise Civic Center, Sunrise, FL Booked
11/10/01 1/6/02 Wichita Falls Museum and Art Center, Wichita Falls, TX Booked
1/26/02 3/24/02 Tulsa Community College, Tulsa, OK Booked
4/13/02 6/9/02 Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg Counties, Charlotte, NC Booked
6/29/02 8/25/02 The Lentz Center for Asian Culture, Lincoln, NE Booked
11/29/02 1/26/03 DeKalb County Public Library, Chamblee, GA Booked
2/14/03 4/13/03 Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, MI Booked
5/3/03 8/31/03 Paul Meek Library, University of Tennessee at Martin, Martin, TN Booked
10/4/03 11/30/03 Perspective Gallery, Blacksburg, VA Booked
12/20/03 2/15/04 Orlando City Hall, Orlando, FL Booked
3/6/04 5/2/04 Broome County Public Library, Binghamton, NY Booked
5/22/04 7/18/04 Tunica County Museum, Tunica, MS Booked
8/7/04 10/3/04 Museum of the Gulf Coast, Port Arthur, TX Booked
10/23/04 12/19/04 Spartanburg County Public Library, Spartanburg, SC Booked
1/8/05 3/6/05 D.H. Hill Library, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC Booked
3/26/05 8/7/05 The Kansas City Museum, Kansas City, MO Booked
2/11/06 4/9/06 The Air Zoo, Portage, MI Booked
8/26/06 10/22/06 Community Folk Art Center, Syracuse, NY Booked
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Related publications

None listed at this time. Please check back again.

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Press Release


New Smithsonian Photography Exhibition Featuring Vietnam Premieres in August

A new traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian features color photographs that consider Vietnam as a country rather than a war. "Vietnam: Journey of the Heart, Photographs by Geoffrey Clifford, 1985-2000" is a collection of stunning color photographs that document Clifford's exploration of contemporary Vietnam.

The four-year tour will premiere at the Sunrise Civic Center in Sunrise, Fla., Aug. 25, through Oct. 21.

"Vietnam: Journey of the Heart" was organized for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES).

Geoffrey Clifford was a 21-year-old American Army lieutenant when he first arrived in Vietnam in 1971. Flying combat helicopter missions over central Vietnam, the young pilot was awed by the terrain that unfolded below him. Between missions, he was restricted to his secured military perimeter, unable to experience firsthand the landscapes, cultures and people that surrounded him.

In 1985, 13 years after leaving Da Nang, Clifford visited Vietnam in the first organized group tour of the country by American veterans. Now a professional photographer, Clifford uses his art to make sense of breathtaking landscapes, ancient cultures and gracious people - a world that had previously been hidden from him by the turmoil of war.

Since his first postwar tour, Clifford has made 17 successive returns to Vietnam. His photographs of life in modern Vietnam speak to his own experiences of discovery of Vietnam and its resilient people. "Vietnam: Journey of the Heart" documents Clifford's exploration with 52 large color photographs.

The photographs contrast timeless pastoral scenes with views of a modern culture beginning a new century. Clifford's images visually recover the beauty of Vietnam for those whose only memories of this nation stem from grim wartime reports.

"Vietnam, Journey of the Heart" will travel to the Wichita Falls Museum and Art Center, the San Francisco Public Library, the Grand Rapids Art Museum and several other museums.

Each year, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) shares the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside of Washington, D.C. One of the Smithsonian's four National Programs, SITES makes available a wide range of exhibitions about art, science, and history, which are shown not only in museums but wherever people live, work, and play: in libraries, science centers, historical societies, community centers, botanical gardens, schools, and shopping malls. In 2002, SITES will celebrate 50 years of connecting Americans to their shared cultural heritage. Exhibition descriptions and tour schedules are available at www.sites.si.edu.

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Exhibition Specifications

Tour Itinerary

Exhibition Images

Related Publications

Press Release

In the News

More Exhibitions from SITES


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