ARCTIC SPECTACLES: THE FROZEN NORTH IN VISUAL CULTURE: 1818-1875
Russell Potter is professor of English at Rhode Island College. He spent over a decade researching and collecting images for this fabulous book Arctic Spectacles. Read more about it here
In Victorian times, the Arctic was remote, mysterious and untamed. It captured the imagination
of artists and the public alike. With every Arctic expedition, there came the artists' response in the form of moving panoramas, stationary 360 degree panoramas, dioramas, engravings, magic lantern slides and fine art.
The most famous 19th Century Arctic expedition was that of Sir John
Franklin (1845). Their mission was to discover the NW Passage (sea route from the Atlantic to the Pacific above North America). Both ships and all crew were lost. There have been over 30 expeditions over the last 150 years, to find out what happened
to the crew of 128.
BREAKING NEWS!! On Sept. 9th, 2014, the Canadian government announced that it had found one of the Franklin expedition ships, the Erebus, lying on the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, in 35 feet of water, off King Willam
Island. It will take years of patient research to discover the ship's secrets and unravel the mystery of what happened. To follow along, check out Russell Potter's blog, Visions of the North. (scroll down the page to find the link)