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Rare insight into Scott’s South Pole journey at Marylebone gallery

PUBLISHED: 10:00 05 February 2012

Captain Robert Scott in his den, 7 October 1911. Pic: Scott Polar Research Institute

Captain Robert Scott in his den, 7 October 1911. Pic: Scott Polar Research Institute

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A rare collection of original photographs detailing Captain Robert Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the South Pole is to go on display at a Marylebone art gallery.

The Great White South exhibition at Atlas Gallery in Dorset Street will bring together the largest collection of images taken by official expedition photographer Herbert Ponting since they first went on display almost 100 years ago.

The photos provide a unique insight into the infamous Terra Nova Expedition led by Captain Scott to the South Pole.

The expedition team reached the Pole on January 17, 1912, only to find they had been beaten by five weeks by a Norwegian group.

All five explorers died on their return.

Antique photography collector Richard Kossow, who has assembled the collection over the past 25 years, said: “When Scott and his men died it was an extraordinary event and it affected the entire Empire. It became a matter of national pride.

“In 1913 and 1914 the Fine Arts Society sponsored a selling exhibition of Ponting’s photographs.

“The proceeds were to go to the Scott family and the families of the other men, and also to establish a permanent presence for the expedition.

“About 245 images were offered for sale and the photographs were dispersed far and wide.”

Having acquired about 100 photographs, Mr Kossow has put them forward for sale at the Atlas Gallery.

“Ponting was the first professional photographer to ever go to the Antarctic and it is the one place that was seen by most people for the first time through a camera,” he said. “He documented the inner workings of the expedition and he did so magnificently.”

The photos are available to buy at the exhibition from February 23 to April 5.


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