A century on: Captain Scott’s ‘lost photos’ displayed for first time

18/10/2012

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The ‘lost photos’ of Captain Scott have gone on display for the first time. The University of Cambridge’s Polar Museum concludes this year’s Scott centenary programme with a special exhibition exploring Captain Scott’s personal legacy through his family, his professional inspiration to the Royal Navy, and his important role in developing and enhancing Antarctic science, exploration and art.

The wider cultural legacy associated with Captain Scott, as it has evolved over the last century, will be revealed through art, popular culture, radio, film, theatre and television.
 
The exhibition, Robert Falcon Scott: A Century On puts on display for the first time a selection of the ‘lost’ photographs of Captain Scott. These were acquired by the Scott Polar Research Institute in the Spring of 2012, with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and help from donors including the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust and the Staples Trust.
 
These photographs, thought missing for most of the 20th century, will be exhibited ten at a time and changed fortnightly throughout the exhibition to avoid light damage.
 
Heather Lane, Keeper of Collections at the Institute, said: “The staff of the Polar Museum wanted to end this centenary year by bringing Captain’s Scott’s story right up to date. We hope that the exhibition will let visitors get a real sense of Scott’s impact on British culture and the ways in which his reputation has changed over the past century.
 
“We have been very excited to acquire Scott’s own photographs from the Terra Nova expedition and this seemed an ideal opportunity to put them on public display for the first time.”
 
Guest contributors to the exhibition include Sir David Attenborough, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Falcon Scott (grandson of Captain Scott), David Wilson (great nephew of Dr Edward Wilson) and Professor Susan Solomon.
 
A wide range of specialists and experts in their field of endeavour will offer their personal thoughts and comments on the legacy of Scott. The exhibition looks at the way Scott has been portrayed in everything from books, letters and films to branded tins of tea and Monty Python sketches.
 
The exhibition concludes with a section on the recent Commemorative Service at St Paul’s Cathedral, entitled ‘Britain Reclaims its Antarctic Heroes’. A cultural programme will accompany the exhibition.
 
Since 2010, the public’s knowledge and understanding of Scott has been transformed as they have learned more about the man, his personality, life and achievements. Robert Falcon Scott: A Century On will consolidate this new appreciation of Captain Scott and the pivotal role of his life and death in British and Commonwealth history.
 
In 2010, on the anniversary of Terra Nova’s departure from Cardiff, the Scott Polar Research Institute’s Polar Museum was reopened following a transformational upgrade. This was the first of many events and exhibitions, around the world, that have commemorated Captain Scott and his South Pole companions, and the achievements of the Terra Nova Expedition. The recent exhibition, These Rough Notes: Captain Scott’s Last Expedition, resulted in the largest number of visitors, per month, in the history of the museum.

Image: PO Edgar Evans with the pony Snatcher, Cape Evans, October 1911
Photographer: Captain Robert Falcon Scott Copyright: SPRI

Reproduced courtesy of the University of Cambridge

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University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge is acknowledged as one of the world's leading higher education and research institutions. The University was instrumental in the formation of the Cambridge Network and its Vice- Chancellor, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz is also the President of the Cambridge Network.

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