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Face to Face: Polar Portraits

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Face to Face: Polar Portraits

Face to Face posterThe collections held by the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, are among the richest in the world for the study of polar environments. Work began in 2007 on the Freeze Frame project to capture and preserve the archive of historical images in digital form.

The project has digitised over 20,000 photographic negatives from 1845, some of the very earliest imagery, through to the 1980s, representing some of the most important visual records of British and international polar exploration. This archive includes daguerreotypes, magic lantern slides, glass plate negatives and modern cellulose formats. Many of these images are unpublished, rediscovered within private albums and personal collections. Most have never been before the public eye.

Focusing on portraiture, FACE TO FACE draws attention to some of this recovered historic imagery, whilst looking to the present and into the future. The project engaged the leading expedition photographer Martin Hartley to add to his acclaimed portfolio by producing a range of new commissions, featuring men and women of many nations, exploring, working, and living in the polar regions today.

This touring exhibition features a selection of 50 portraits alongside unique polar camera equipment from the museum of the Scott Polar Research Institute. The exhibition can be tailored to fit a variety of spaces. An accompanying book is available; please contact the Museum Shop.

For more information about the photographer Martin Hartley, visit his website:

The Scott Polar Research Institute is pleased to acknowledge the generous support of the following sponsors, who have made this touring exhibition possible:

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