The mounted photograph has recently been hinge-mounted and matted in archival materials, ready for framing (visible image size 325 × 443 mm, with trifling blemishes to the edges now behind the mat); apart from three minute spots of surface loss near the left-hand edge, the photograph is in excellent condition.
This print comes from the original 1915 Australian exhibition of Hurley photographs; this was a slightly enlarged version of the London exhibition held earlier in the same year. The full title of the Australian exhibition catalogue is 'Exhibition of Unique Photographic Pictures taken during the Australasian Antarctic Expedition. Also other Photographic Studies by Frank Hurley' (small octavo, 16 pages plus 8 full-page plates and the title-wrappers; printed in Adelaide by G. Hassell & Son). A small advertisement appeared in the Adelaide 'Advertiser' on Saturday 25 September 1915, announcing a 'South Polar Exhibit.... until October 6. This Exhibition is your only opportunity of viewing Historical Relics of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, and Frank Hurley's Unexcelled Photographic Reproductions'. The images were sourced primarily from Mawson's 1911-1914 Australasian Antarctic Expedition, but there were also several sections of non-polar images as well, under the headings 'Northern Territory, Australia', 'Java', and 'Miscellaneous'. The label of the Fine Art Society, New Bond Street, London is on the verso of this print (with the London catalogue reference number 152 and title in pencil, as well as the Australian catalogue reference number 137). This photograph comes from Hurley's tour of Java when on assignment with the Royal Dutch Steam Packet Company. 'Mr Hurley is engaged in taking cinematograph views of the many beauty spots and points of interest available to tourists on this route, and the views will later be exhibited in Australia' ('Brisbane Courier', 3 July 1913). Provenance: Sir Douglas Mawson (with the Mawson Estate stamp on the verso); by descent.