La Galerie L’Atelier d’Artistes, Paris
November 10 through December 11, 2010
74 Rue de Seine, 75006 Paris
+33 6 30 78 23 89

This exhibition showcases photographs by the first two professional photographers in Antarctica, Herbert George Ponting and James Francis ‘Frank’ Hurley, who accompanied the expeditions of Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Henry Shackleton.

Until photography made its appearance, explorers relied on the skills of professional and amateur artists to document the discoveries and the sights they encountered. The appearance of the Kodak Brownie in 1900 made photography accessible to amateurs.

Scott met and appointed an experienced photographer and cinematographer, Herbert George Ponting, as camera artist of the Terra Nova expedition which left Lyttleton New Zealand for the Great Unknown on November 29, 1910. The aim of Shackleton’s second expedition of 1914-17 was to cross Antarctica, but the loss of his ship transformed the venture into the greatest epic of survival of Antarctic exploration. Along with Shackleton was a young photographer on his second Antarctic trip, Frank Hurley.

Shackleton never reached his destination. On 19th January 1915 the pack ice had trapped his ship, the Endurance. When months later, on 21st November the Endurance sank. Hurley had had to dive into the icy waters to rescue his glass negatives, but over 400 negatives had to be sacrificed to the need to carry food on the long voyage back.

Shackleton risked all in an hazardous sailing, in a small open boat, across 1300 km, while the majority of his crew awaited his return on a barren rock. On 30th August 1916 Shackleton returned and rescued his whole party.