A collection of 14 stereophotographs from the expedition, mainly taken in the vicinity of the Western Base hut, Queen Mary Land, in early 1912, with some images relating to the voyage south from Hobart, via Macquarie Island. Australasian Antarctic Expedition, Andrew WATSON.

A collection of 14 stereophotographs from the expedition, mainly taken in the vicinity of the Western Base hut, Queen Mary Land, in early 1912, with some images relating to the voyage south from Hobart, via Macquarie Island

One outstanding image depicts a group of exhausted expeditioners 'resting' on the deck of the 'Aurora' after establishing the Macquarie Island Base. The best were taken in and around 'The Grottoes', the name given to the Western Base hut and its numerous caverns created in the enveloping snow drifts. These include the igloo over the ice-shaft at 'The Grottoes'; a superb image of moonlight over 'The Grottoes'; Watson's bunk therein; and one showing that 'the level surface of the névé had already risen above the level of the eaves'. Andrew Dougald Watson (1885-1962) was appointed to the AAE as the geologist and photographer on the Western Base Party, Queen Mary Land. He spent 'almost a year in 1912-13 in the group of eight led by Frank Wild ... There he trained the party's dogs and dug a shaft to study the glacial ice. He also studied glacial effects on the landscape and accessible rock such as the Hippo Nunatak. In the summer expeditions, Wild, A.L. Kennedy, C.T. Harrisson and Watson explored to the east, but broken ice hindered their mapping of the coast. A promontory on David Island was named Watson Bluff. In December Watson was rescued from a crevasse: "in an instant I found myself dangling at rope's end, fully fifteen feet, into a yawning chasm, with sheer walls"' ('Australian Dictionary of Biography'). Provenance: Sir Douglas Mawson; by descent; gifted to a family friend.

Item #115678