Antarctic Views by Hurley and Ponting

22 November 2005 - 6 March 2006

Australian National Maritime Museum

Darling Harbour

Two famous photographers focus on the treacherous beauty of Antarctica in a new exhibition coming to the Australian National Maritime Museum

English-born Herbert Ponting (1870 - 1935), self-taught and considering himself a ‘camera artist’, accompanied Scott’s fatal British Antarctic Expedition of 1910-1913.

The first official cameraman on an Antarctic voyage, he brought the first images of the continent’s frozen landscapes to the rest of the world.

Ponting built his own darkroom at Cape Evans to develop and store the thousands of pictures he took during his 14 months with Scott. He returned to New Zealand while Scott and his team made their disastrous attempt on the South Pole.

His work in the National Maritime Museum exhibition includes framed prints of Scott’s ship Terra Nova in turbulent seas heading towards Antarctica, the ship surrounded by ice, caverns in the ice and Scott’s party celebrating Christmas in a timber hut.

Australian Frank Hurley (1885-1962) went on three expeditions to Antarctica between 1911 and 1930. He was an official war photographer in WWI and WWII and he became well known for his photography of Asia and the South Pacific in the 1920s.

As a member of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914-1917 he recorded the unfolding drama as the ship Endurance was trapped and crushed in ice and the expedition’s 28 men lived five months on moving ice floes before escaping to the relative safety of Elephant Island.

Included in the exhibition will be Hurley’s famous pictures of the trapped Endurance and Shackleton’s party hauling the three life boats James Caird, Dudley Docker and Stancomb Willis across the ice to make their escape.

The exhibition includes a total of 27 framed images.

The Australian National Maritime Museum, at Darling Harbour, is open daily from 9.30 am to 5 pm. Entry to the museum, including Antarctic Views by Hurley and Ponting, is free. Admission charges apply to the museum’s Navy vessels and the HM Bark Endeavour replica. Inquiries, (02) 9298 3777.

Image: The Ice Cavern... Herbert Ponting produced some of his most famous works when Sir Robert Scott’s ship Terra Nova reached safe anchorage at McMurdo Sound (1911) on Scott’s ill-fated British Antarctic Expedition of 1910-1913. Here Terra Nova is seen through the entrance to an ice cavern. Photo: Herbert Ponting, by courtesy of


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