New Exhibition – Herbert Ponting: Explorer and Photographer

New Exhibition – Herbert Ponting: Explorer and Photographer

After years of taking photographs in America, Japan, other parts of Asia and in Europe, Herbert Ponting (1870-1935) became and remains best-known for his work on Captain Scott’s Terra Nova expedition (1910-3). A new exhibition opening Saturday 10 June will look at his life and work with photographs from Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, alongside artefacts and research carried out by biographer Anne Strathie.

Herbert Ponting & Southport

Herbert Ponting is world-famous for his photographs and films of Antarctica, but he was also Southport’s ‘local explorer’.

Ponting’s father was appointed Manager of Preston Banking Company in the 1880s and the family set up home in Park Road West, Southport. In 1888 Ponting began work at National Provincial Bank of England’s branch on Fenwick Street, Liverpool. While Ponting had a head for figures, the desk-bound work of a bank clerk did not suit him, but he enjoyed his leisure time outdoors exploring the Lake District and experimenting with his compact Kodak camera. In spring 1890 Ponting joined the Liverpool Amateur Photographic Association, which gave him access to darkrooms and talks by visiting lecturers. In 1892, after working briefly at Preston Banking Companies Southport branch on Lord Street, Herbert Ponting emigrated to California, where he became a professional photographer. When Ponting joined Captain Scott’s Terra Nova expedition, his parents had moved to Argyle Road, Southport’s so-called ‘Millionaire’s Row’. Ponting visited the town regularly, including for a season of Antarctic cinema-lectures at the Southport Palladium, and for the funerals at St Cuthbert’s church of his parents and younger brother.

When Ponting died in February 1935, the Southport Guardian’s appreciation of the town’s ‘local explorer’ was illustrated with the photograph now on the cover of Anne Strathie’s biography, Herbert Ponting: Scott’s Antarctic and Pioneer Filmmaker.

Herbert Ponting: Explorer and Photographer

10 June – 2 September 2023
Mon-Sat. 10am-4pm. Free entry. (Closed Sundays & Bank Holidays)


Herbert Ponting: Scott’s Antarctic Photographer and Pioneer Filmmaker
Wednesday 21 June 2023, 1pm, Free, donations welcome
Join biographer Anne Strathie, author of ‘Herbert Ponting: Scott’s Antarctic Photographer and Pioneer Filmmaker’ (2021) on a journey looking at the life and career of Herbert Ponting.

Discovering Antarctica: Heroic Tales of Shackleton, Scott & Crean
Friday 3 November 2023. 8pm. £14 / £12 concessions.
Tom Crean, the intrepid Antarctic explorer and one of Ireland’s unsung heroes, is brought to life in this dramatic and humorous solo performance by Aidan Dooley.
The show has won critical acclaim, multiple awards and continues to enjoy sell-out performances and standing ovations. Having toured globally, including a stop in Antarctica, nearly a quarter of a million people have been captivated by the show and the heroic tales it brings to life.

Summer Exhibition Launch
Saturday 17 June 2023. 10am-4pm. Free.
Join us as we launch our new season of exhibitions with gallery tours, artist talks and a variety of craft workshops suitable for all the family. More information here:

Exhibition Partner

Lent by the Polar Museum, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Posted on 8 June 2023 under Exhibition, General news

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