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Visual Arts & Aesthetics Examine paintings, drawings, sculptures, architecture, photography, & other visual arts.

Recovering the Vsual History of the Andrée Expedition

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Old Monday, July 16th, 2007   #1
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Recovering the Vsual History of the Andrée Expedition

Recovering the visual history of the Andrée expedition

The case study material for this paper is unique. It is based on The Andrée Expedition , a Swedish polar expedition that, in a Jules Vernien style, tried to cross the frozen North Polar Sea by balloon in 1897. Its scientific mission was to explore the geography of the north Polar Regions using aerial photography. However, when the balloon was forced down to the ice the goal of the expedition quickly turned into a struggle for survival for the three expedition members: Salomon August Andrée (1854-1897), an engineer and the leader of the expedition, Nils Strindberg (1872-1897), a scientist, photographer and navigator, and Knut Frænkel (1870-1897), also an engineer. The three men struggled for over two months on the ice until they finally died in 1897 at Kvitøya in Svalbard. Thirty-three years later, in August of 1930, the remains of the three men were unexpectedly found along with large parts of their equipment, diaries, notebooks and exposed photographic film. They had documented their entire ordeal using photography and written text. It soon became clear that seven copper cylinders containing film were found at Kvitøya - four of the rolls had been exposed. When the expedition camera's roll-cassette was found there was one roll of film in it that had been exposed. Docent John Hertzberg at The Royal Technical University (KTH) in Stockholm treated the five exposed rolls of film. Out of 240 possible exposures (based on the fact that each roll could hold up to 48 exposures), Hertzberg managed to save 93.

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Old Thursday, February 16th, 2012   #2
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Ice Balloon: Doomed Arctic expedition to the north pole

In 1897, a Swedish explorer named SA Andree attempted to be the first man to reach the north pole.

Unusually, instead of travelling by boat or a sled pulled by dogs, he opted to travel across hundreds of miles of Arctic ice by hydrogen balloon.

The expedition did not go well. Andree did not reach the pole.

In fact, neither he or his two colleagues ever returned home.

Using the expedition's diaries and photographs - dramatically recovered in the ice 33 years later - Alec Wilkinson's Ice Balloon recounts an epic and ultimately doomed tale of Arctic adventure. He spoke to the BBC about his book.

Photographs courtesy the Grenna Museum, Sweden/The Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography
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By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.
Open, locks,
Whoever knocks.
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