To celebrate Shackleton’s Imperial Transantarctic Expedition (1914-17), better known today as the Endurance expedition, the Society has created the first ever platinum prints of images by the expedition’s official photographer Frank Hurley, using the original glass plate negatives owned by the Society and housed at its headquarters in London’s South Kensington.
Hurley’s images are at the heart of the Endurance story, providing us with a unique and compelling record of Shackleton’s expedition, the ship, his men and their challenge.
"All the plates which were exposed on the wreck nearly twelve months ago turned out excellently."
Frank Hurley, 4 September 1916, Punta Arenas, Chile
Each of the chosen 42 images is available in a strict limited edition, with three size options and made from the first digital scans ever to be made directly from Hurley’s exquisitely processed negatives. Prints are also accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.
Using the platinum technique, these museum-grade prints are hand-made to order by the master printmaker Georges Charlier and his team at Salto-Ulbeek in Belgium: today’s leading experts in this delicate technique. This handcrafted printing process is far removed from the world of mass produced silver-based papers. In platinum printing each print from an edition is created individually as though it were the only example of that image, an unrepeatable dialogue between the image, the chemistry and the printer's skill.
The Society’s Hurley platinum prints have created a new chapter in the history of Shackleton’s Endurance expedition.
"During the day I hacked through the thick walls of the refrigerator to retrieve the negatives stored therein. They were located beneath four feet of mushy ice and, by stripping to the waist and diving under, I hauled them out. Fortunately, they are soldered up in double tin linings, so I am hopeful they may not have suffered by their submersion. On return to camp my team bolted owing to a killer whale breaking through the ice but 10 yards ahead …"
Frank Hurley’s diary, 2 November 1915