Item #122915 'A Dreamy Venice in Seal-land'. Australasian Antarctic Expedition, Frank HURLEY.
'A Dreamy Venice in Seal-land'
[Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914]. HURLEY, Frank

'A Dreamy Venice in Seal-land'

A large blue-toned carbon print (358 × 430 mm, flush-cut on the original thick card mount), recently matted (visible image size 351 × 423 mm) using archival materials, ready for framing (or long-term storage in its custom-made Mylar sleeve).

Light brown discolouration about the top edge (a tidemark is visible on the original mount on the reverse); two tiny surface blemishes; overall, in excellent condition.

This photograph is reproduced in 'The Home of the Blizzard' (Volume 1, page 102), with the caption 'Adelie Land. Weddell seals asleep on pancake ice'. Several pages earlier, Mawson writes: 'Seals and penguins on magic gondolas were the silent denizens of this dreamy Venice. In the soft glamour of the midsummer midnight sun, we were possessed by a rapturous wonder the rare thrill of unreality' (page 53).

The print comes from the original 1915 Australian exhibition of Hurley photographs; this was a slightly larger version of the London exhibition held earlier in the same year. 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 catalogue reference number 48 added in ink.

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'.

Provenance: Ainslie Roberts AM (1911-1993, surrealist painter, illustrator and photographer; president of the Adelaide Camera Club, 1944-45, and life member from 1945); by descent.

Item #122915

Price (AUD): $6,500.00