United States of America 1901 – 1990

Ice cave, Scott Base, Ross Island, Antarctica. December 7, 1975 [Ice cave, Ross Island, Antarctica] 1975 Materials & Technique: photographs, dye-transfer photograph Support: on fibre-based paper

Dimensions: printed image 26.6 h x 20.7 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1978
Accession No: NGA 78.935
  • For all its grim and hostile character, Antarctica with its pristine snows, its unbelievable clarity of air, and its blue, cascading ice is sublimely beautiful.

    Eliot Porter

    In 1967 Porter was awarded the Conservation Award by the US Department of the Interior. By then he was celebrated for his pioneering work in colour photography. In 1975, at the age of seventy-three, he was invited by the National Science Foundation to photograph in Antarctica and travelled down on the NSF research vessel Hero. Porter photographed extensively: the Neumayer Passage, the mysterious Deception Island and the unusual dry valleys as well as the wildlife – especially birdlife which had long fascinated him. He also visited Ross Island to photograph Shackleton’s hut at Cape Royds used during the Nimrod expedition and Scott’s at Cape Evans. Like Ponting and Hurley before him, he was struck by the beauty of the ice caves.

    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra