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Major exhibition of the Antarctic legacy of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Frank Hurley at the RGS

Monday, November 9th 2015 - 08:38 UTC
Full article 3 comments
The RGS exhibition ‘The Enduring Eye: The Antarctic Legacy of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Frank Hurley’ opens on November 21th. The RGS exhibition ‘The Enduring Eye: The Antarctic Legacy of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Frank Hurley’ opens on November 21th.
The exhibitions are inspired by the glass plate negatives taken by Endurance expedition photographer Frank Hurley The exhibitions are inspired by the glass plate negatives taken by Endurance expedition photographer Frank Hurley

A major new exhibition on Shackleton’s Endurance Expedition will open at the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), London, on 21 November, with an off-shoot exhibition coming to South Georgia early in 2016. The exhibitions are inspired by the glass plate negatives taken by Endurance expedition photographer Frank Hurley, according to the latest edition of the South Georgia Newsletter

 Shackleton recognized the power of the photographic image, but when the Endurance was crushed and sunk in the Antarctic and the men had to take to the ice and try and save themselves, he only allowed a select few of the heavy glass plates to be saved. In his book ‘Argonauts of the South’ Frank Hurley wrote, “Sir Ernest and I went over the plates together, and as a negative was rejected, I would smash it on the ice to obviate all temptation to change my mind. Finally the choice was made and the films and plates that I considered indispensable were stowed in one of the boats… Later I had to preserve them almost with my life; for a time came when we had to choose between heaving them overboard or throwing away our surplus food – and the food went over!”

According to the RGS the original glass plates that will feature in the exhibition have never previously been seen by the public. The exhibition will focus on Hurley’s work and his critical role in the expedition. In particular it will celebrate Hurley’s contribution to the world of film and photography. The exhibition will also assess Shackleton’s leadership qualities and reputation in motivating his men to survive as portrayed in Hurley’s photographs. The exhibition is in part sponsored by GSGSSI along with the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, the Government of the British Antarctic Territories and Rolex.

GSGSSI supported the RGS Enduring Eye exhibition and the Government is very pleased that a smaller exhibition at Grytviken, based on one at the RGS, will also be opening in the coming months. This will feature 10 replicas of the original glass plates along with associated prints and 12 original lantern slides, all of which will be mounted in a new gallery in the old Slop Chest at Grytviken.

Top Comments

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  • gordo1

    Will Alicita be claiming any Argentine connection with this exhibition?

    Nov 09th, 2015 - 02:23 pm 0
  • The Voice

    … sponsored by Rolex on British South Georgia! TMBOA will have a hissy fit and dump her jewel encrusted timepiece in the bin!

    Rolex are quite clear which country and which hero they wish to be associated with.

    Nov 09th, 2015 - 04:18 pm 0
  • SebaSvtz

    Shackleton, Stanley, Livingstone ... the amazing years of exploring and discovery.

    Hats off.

    Nov 10th, 2015 - 10:37 am 0
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