'Antarctic Petrels on the Nest, Cape Hunter'
A vintage sepia-toned gelatin silver photograph (333 × 451 mm), flush-cut on the original thick card mount. The label of the Fine Art Society, New Bond Street, London is on the verso of this print, with the title (as above) and the London catalogue reference number 88 in pencil; the latter is crossed out and replaced with the Australian catalogue reference number 86.
The photograph has recently been hinge-mounted and matted using archival materials, ready for framing (visible image size 320 × 440 mm); 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'. This photograph was taken at Cape Hunter, 'a rocky promontory on the west shore of Commonwealth Bay, Antarctica ... 15 km west of Cape Denison. It was discovered in 1912 and explored the following year by the Australasian Antarctic Expedition under Douglas Mawson, who named it for John G. Hunter, chief biologist of the expedition' (Geographic Names Information System, United States Geological Survey, retrieved online). The original catalogue entry offered further information about this image: 'At the Cape Hunter Rookery. "One could sit down among the soft, mild birds who were fearless at the approach of man"'. Provenance: Sir Douglas Mawson (with the Mawson Estate stamp on the verso); by descent.