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Edward Seago Exhibition: Antarctic Paintings at Bonhams
The whaling station, Leith Harbour, South Georgia. Also listed as:Grytviken Harbour, South Georgia. Oil on board (50 x 65 cm). †From the private collection
of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh (MR 121). The Antarctic paintings of Edward Seago
©The Estate of Edward Seago. Reproduced courtesy of Thomas Gibson Fine Art.

LONDON.- Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Edward Seago’s tour of the Antarctic aboard HM Yacht Britannia the Exhibition supports an appeal to assist the work of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, in helping to preserve the UK’s polar heritage.

Among the paintings are images of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh painting on the veranda deck of HMY Britannia, storms at sea, icebergs, Port Stanley harbour, Shackleton’s Cross, ice floes, the RRS John Biscoe in the pack ice, and HMY Britannia passing through the spectacular Neumayer and Lemaire Channels.

The paintings were executed during Prince Philip's tour of the Falkland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula during the austral summer of 1956-7 aboard HM Yacht Britannia. Invited guests, including the artist Edward Seago, accompanied the royal party. These paintings, from The Duke of Edinburgh's private collection, have rarely been placed on public view since their first exhibition at St James's Palace in November 1957.

The Exhibition at Bonhams HQ, 101 New Bond Street, celebrates the 50th anniversary of the artist’s tour of the Antarctic and will support an appeal in aid of the work of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, in helping to preserve the UK’s polar heritage. The exhibition will also mark the launch of a book about Seago’s paintings from the voyage, by Institute Director, Julian Dowdeswell and Librarian, Heather Lane.

SPRI Director, Professor Julian Dowdeswell, says: “We are very pleased to have this opportunity to work with Bonhams to bring Seago’s atmospheric paintings of the Antarctic to a wider audience. We hope that this exhibition will bring to public attention the need to preserve Britain’s polar heritage. The Scott Polar Research Institute is perhaps less well known for its role in conserving these historic materials than for its current scientific research into environmental change, but the heritage role is no less important and one for which public support is urgently needed.”

The Scott Polar Research Institute is seeking £5 million to secure its long-term goals. Support for the conservation of the holdings of the museum, library and archive is urgently needed. The collections are unrivalled as a resource for Britain’s polar heritage and are particularly strong in manuscripts and objects relating to the expeditions of Scott and Shackleton. The appeal aims to enable SPRI to endow the permanent posts that will ensure that the collections are properly maintained for the benefit of future researchers.

The Exhibition at Bonhams will allow visitors the chance to see the Antarctic through the eyes of one of this country’s best known marine artists and to share something of the experience of a guest aboard Britannia as she sailed some of the most hostile seas in the world.

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