See Long-Lost Photos of Robert Scott’s Doomed Journey to the South Pole

The negatives were thought to be lost for 100 years.

Herbert George Ponting, Petty officer Evans and Crean mending sleeping bags. Courtesy of Bonhams.
Herbert George Ponting, Petty officer Evans and Crean mending sleeping bags. Courtesy of Bonhams.

For the first time, famed explorer Robert Falcon Scott‘s lost photographs from the fatal British Antarctic Expedition are on public view at “Visions of the Great White South,” a new exhibition at Bonhams London.

“It’s the first time that Scott’s negatives have been turned into really high quality prints,” exhibition curator Charlotte Connelly told the BBC, noting that “Scott’s negatives were believed lost for over a century.”

Robert Falcon Scott, Foundering in soft snow. Courtesy of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge.

Robert Falcon Scott, Foundering in soft snow. Courtesy of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge.

Belgian photographic publishers Salto Ulbeek have printed new platinum prints of the explorer’s work in collaboration with the Scott Polar Research Institute. Scott was trained in photography by the expedition’s main photographer, Herbert Ponting, who was not selected to be among the five men who made the final leg of the journey to the pole.

Scott brought Ponting and painter Edward Adrian Wilson (also the party’s chief scientist) with him on his ill-fated voyage to help document the historic journey. The two men had hopes of hosting a joint exhibition of their works following the successful completion of the Terra Nova Expedition. Tragically, Wilson, along with Scott and three of their compatriots, perished on their return journey, having been beaten to the South Pole by Roald Amundsen’s Norwegian team.

Now, Ponting and Wilson’s vision has finally come to fruition at Bonhams. “By reuniting their work in this special exhibition we are pleased to give the public the opportunity to see their works together and at their best,” said Julian Dowdeswell, director of the Scott Polar Research Institute, in a statement.

Edward Adrian Wilson Emperor Penguins, Cape Crozier Rookery. Courtesy of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge.

Edward Adrian Wilson Emperor Penguins, Cape Crozier Rookery. Courtesy of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge.

The show also features contemporary work from the Friends of Scott Polar Research Institute’s artist-in-residency program, including art from wildlife artist Darren Rees and Scott’s granddaughter Dafila Scott.

See more works from the show below.

Robert Falcon Scott, Herbert Ponting working in Antarctic conditions. Courtesy of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge.

Robert Falcon Scott, Herbert Ponting working in Antarctic conditions. Courtesy of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge.

Edward Adrian Wilson, Light-mantled sooty albatross. Courtesy of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge.

Edward Adrian Wilson, Light-mantled sooty albatross. Courtesy of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge.

Herbert George Ponting, the Terra Nova held up in the Pack. Courtesy of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge.

Herbert George Ponting, the Terra Nova held up in the Pack. Courtesy of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge.

Robert Falcon Scott, Camp on Ferrar Glacier, Overflow Glacier and Royal Society Range. Courtesy of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge.

Robert Falcon Scott, Camp on Ferrar Glacier, Overflow Glacier and Royal Society Range. Courtesy of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge.

Darren Rees, Humpbacks at Gerlach Strait. Courtesy of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge.

Darren Rees, Humpbacks at Gerlach Strait. Courtesy of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge.

Dafila Scott, International collaboration in the Antarctic. Courtesy of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge.

Dafila Scott, International collaboration in the Antarctic. Courtesy of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge.

“Visions of the Great White South” is on view at Bonhams, 101 New Bond Street, London, August 2–19, 2016. 


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