The mounted photograph has recently been hinge-mounted and matted in archival material, ready for framing (visible image size 440 × 320 mm, with trifling blemishes to the edges now behind the mat); apart from two 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 139 and the title added in ink; it was number 132 in the Australian catalogue). This photograph comes from the whirlwind 6000-mile trip he made with fellow-adventurer Francis Birtles through northern Australia from mid-April to the end of July 1914. Provenance: from the personal collection of Sir Douglas Mawson (with his certified estate stamp on the verso), and by descent.