Captain Scott's Last Expedition

Captain Scott

Captain Scott's Birthday Dinner, 6 June 1911
by Herbert George Ponting
6 June 1911
NPG P1100

Past display archive
September 2007 - February 2008

Room 23 showcase


Captain Robert Falcon Scott (1868 - 1912) is an iconic figure of heroism and courage. As commander of the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1912, he led the first British team to the South Pole. The story of his bleak arrival, a month after the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, and the unendurable hardship of his return journey has become legendary. With the news of his death, Scott was celebrated as Britain's first great hero of the twentieth century

This display of four photographs by Herbert George Ponting (1870 - 1935) includes the Gallery's first public showing of the recently acquired Captain Scott's Birthday Dinner and Dr Edward Wilson. Ponting's expedition photographs captured both the terrifying beauty of the Antarctic landscape and the extraordinary endurance of those who inhabited it. These photographs remain powerfully evocative of the heroic age of polar exploration.

Robert Falcon Scott, by Herbert George Ponting, 7 October 1911 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Robert Falcon Scott
by Herbert George Ponting
7 October 1911

Cecil Henry Meares; Lawrence Oates, by Herbert George Ponting, 26 May 1911 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Cecil Henry Meares; Lawrence Oates
by Herbert George Ponting
26 May 1911
NPG P121

Edward Adrian Wilson, by Herbert George Ponting, 1911 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Edward Adrian Wilson
by Herbert George Ponting
NPG P881