|Antarctica of 1959 Revealed in Black and White by Robert McCabe|
The radio room at McMurdo which is housed in a Quonset hut in Antarctica is seen in this undated handout photo. Cold, white and forbidding the images spring from the glossy pages as they once did from the window of a plane carrying a young photographer into the icy wastelands of Antarctica. "DeepFreeze! A Photographer's Antarctic Odyssey in the Year 1959" by Robert McCabe has been published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the race to be the first to the South Pole. REUTERS/Robert McCabe.
By: Nick Olivari
NEW YORK (REUTERS).- Cold, white and forbidding the images spring from the glossy pages as they once did from the window of a plane carrying a young photographer into the icy wastelands of Antarctica.
"DeepFreeze! A Photographer's Antarctic Odyssey in the Year 1959" by Robert McCabe has been published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the race to be the first to the South Pole.
Though a venture capitalist at now defunct Lehman Brothers, McCabe, then 24 and a serious amateur photographer, used his vacation when no one at New York Sunday Mirror Magazine wanted to take up an offer from the U.S. Navy to visit the southern end of the earth. McCabe's father worked for the Daily Mirror.
After an arduous journey leapfrogging the Pacific by way of Hawaii and New Zealand, his first impressions were of endless distance as they approached the U.S. base at McMurdo Sound.
"You just had images of vast, vast endless glaciers and ice," said McCabe, who is now 77. "It was an extraordinarily memorable trip at a time when you couldn't just call a cruise line and take a boat to the edge of Antarctica."
Despite the pole being reached some 50 years earlier, Antarctic exploration was still in its infancy and McCabe's 1959 pictures have become historical documents in their own right. Men in white shirts and ties wear large wrist watches and carry pens in their top pockets. They also smoke tobacco and the equipment is reminiscent of a 1950's sci-fi movie.
Excellent Meals and Ample Supply of Beer
Male dominance of the military and scientific community of the time is obvious, with the only picture of a woman in the book being Lili of Lili's Leis in Hawaii, taken during their stopover.
The narrative is in layman's terms mostly transcribed at the time from observations made on a reel-to-reel magnetic tape recorder. Being nonscientific McCabe's observations are perhaps more relevant.
The clothes that were issued used technology of the time but McCabe observes the cold on arrival was no worse than waiting for a New Haven, Connecticut train on a New York suburban winter morning.
"We were given a huge amount of clothing we carried on to the plane and they reduced the temperature gradually as we approached," said McCabe. "But when we got there the sun was shining and it was warmer than inside the plane."
Though the Antarctic remains an inhospitable and dangerous place, he notes the agreeable aspects of the base during his visit.
"Meals are excellent and there is ample supply of beer and movies, mostly Westerns," he writes in the book, though later he admits the beer is either warm or frozen.
All of the photographs in the book, whether originally color or not, were reproduced in black and white harkening back to earlier, sometimes less successful Antarctic exhibitions such as that of Robert Falcon Scott.
Scott died returning from the pole after his team was narrowly beaten there by a group led by Roald Amundsen. Photos of Scott's hut and that of Sir Ernest Shackleton's, who later made one of modern man's epic sea voyages in an open boat after his ship was crushed by ice, show them preserved as they must have left them.
McCabe now divides his time between New York city and Athens, Greece. He has done several other photography books, including images of Greece, but his trip to the Antarctic remains powerful in his memory.
As he said at the time: "This is a place where a photographer can never sleep in peace"
(Reporting by Nick Olivari; Editing by Patricia Reaney)
June 25, 2010
Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art Puts Little Seen Modern Art Masterpieces on View
Sotheby's Announces First Sale Dedicated to Calligraphies
Exhibition at SFMOMA Reveals the Depth and Quality of the Fisher Collection
National Portrait Gallery Announces BP Travel Award Winner 2009
Strong Bids for Asian Art Tuesday at Bonhams & Butterfields in San Francisco
Antarctica of 1959 Revealed in Black and White by Robert McCabe
Twenty British and International Artists Exhibit at South London Gallery
Thematic Exhibition Featuring Works by Six Artists at Lehmann Maupin Gallery
Laser Scanner Applied at Emblematic Mexican Monuments
Bonhams Appoints Dalia Stanley as Senior Specialist to New Australian Team
Munch, Warhol, Picasso's Take on Women at Bonhams Print Sale
Climate Change Focus of New Exhibition at the Field Museum
Exceptional Auction of Michael Jackson's Unpublished Portraits
Outdoor Installation of Over 100 Terra Cotta Fish at Fuller Craft Museum
State Museum Scientists to Study Glacial Lakes in Esopus Valley
Jackson 5 Exhibit Opens at Detroit's Motown Museum
Peabody Essex Museum Announces Re-Opening of Crowninshield-Bentley House
Yale Center for British Art Showcases Contemporary Bookbindings and Jewelry by Artist Romilly Saumarez Smith
Getty Acquires Letters from Surrealist René Magritte
Landmarks Preservation Commission Approves Enclosure of Frick Portico
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Italian Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci's extremely rare Viola Organista: the sound of genius
2.- After facing international criticism, Germany to put online 590 works from Nazi art trove
3.- Robert L. Oswald, Brother of Lee Harvey Oswald Disputes Last Week's Sale of Coffin
4.- Germany to return some works to Cornelius Gurlitt, hoarder of Nazi-era art trove
5.- Major exhibition of new works by artist and musician Bob Dylan opens at Halcyon Gallery
6.- In interview with Der Spiegel, Recluse defiantly stakes claim to Nazi-era art hoard
7.- Dallas Museum of Art presents first in-depth study of Edward Hopper's working process
8.- Switzerland pays heavy price for Van Gogh gift from businessman Oskar Reinhart
9.- Alex Prager's first solo museum exhibition in the U.S. opens at the Corcoran Gallery of Art
10.- 3D printing 'will change the world'
Invisible Exports announces the New York solo debut of work and objects by Bob Mizer
Six weeks after, New York City artists seek help to scrub away superstorm Sandy's stains
Just discovered Scharl Portrait of Einstein up for sale for first time
New York State Museum exhibits historic images from Burns archives
La Dolce Vita: 1950-1960. Stars and Celebrities in the Italian Fifties at Eataly New York
The Art of Playboy, Gil Elvgren, Golden Age greats headline Fall New York illustration art auction
Costa Rica reclaims artifacts from the prestigious Brooklyn Museum in New York
Doyle New York to auction the Arthur Rothstein photograph collection in October
New study identifies pine bush as "Stop Over" for migrating birds
Chinese Gilt-Bronze Bell achieves $482,500 at Doyle New York's Asian works of art sale
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|