An exhibition of the first platinum prints to be created from the original 1921 negatives housed at the Society – including photographs by George Mallory – and amongst the earliest images to document Everest, the people and places of the region.
29 October 2018 - 27 November 2018
10.00am-5.00pm Monday to Friday. Closed weekends.
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR
'Mount Everest, showing South Peak, North Peak and Col, from peak (20,500 ft.) above Advanced Camp.' Photographer: George Leigh Mallory (1886-1924). Glass Plate Negatives, MEE21/0669-0671.
Everest – a reconnaissance
This autumn, a new exhibition of platinum prints of photographs from the 1921 Everest expedition will be on show in the Society’s Pavilion. These stunning prints are the first in this format to be created from negatives in the Society’s Collections and include the newly digitised fragile silver nitrate negatives, housed for the Society by the British Film Institute, as well as a selection of celluloid negatives preserved at the Society.
Taken by George Mallory, Charles Howard-Bury, Alexander Wollaston and Edward Oliver Wheeler with Abdul Jalil Khan, the photographs were originally intended to complement the purpose of the expedition – to carry out new and more detailed survey work in the region. However, the aesthetic quality of these images – among the first to document Everest – is remarkable. The selection also includes some of the finest panoramic photographs of any high mountain region ever taken.
The Society has worked with the Salto Ulbeek Studio in Belgium, the team responsible for the Society’s Frank Hurley ‘Endurance’ platinum prints, to carry out the painstaking digitisation work and to then create these exceptional new prints in one of the oldest, rarest and most stable of all black and white photographic printing processes.
“The digitisation work carried out by Georges Charlier at Salto Ulbeek has opened up these exceptional photographs, providing greater clarity and breath-taking detail”, explained Alasdair MacLeod, the Society’s Head of Enterprise and Resources, “we are excited to be showing these remarkable new prints at the Society this autumn”.
Left to right: Porters climbing along a ridge. Photographer: Charles Kenneth Howard-Bury (1881-1963), Celluloid Negative, MEE21/0571. ‘Descending from Karpo Riwo, head of Kama Valley, Aug. 7th.’ Photographer: George Leigh Mallory (1886-1924), Celluloid Negative, MEE21/0805. ‘George Mallory climbing like a spider.’ Photographer: Guy Henry Bullock (1887-1956), Celluloid Negative, MEE21/0799.
‘Camp at 20,000 feet – The last day.’ Photographer: George Leigh Mallory (1886-1924), Glass Plate Negative, MEE21/0715.
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