James Cook: The Voy­ages

PACCAR Gallery, Bri­tish Li­brary, Lon­don, Show­ing un­til: 28 Au­gust 2018

Timeless Travels Magazine - - ART ROUNDUP -

To mark 250 years since Cap­tain James Cook’s ship En­deav­our set sail from Ply­mouth, this ma­jor Bri­tish Li­brary ex­hi­bi­tion will tell the story of Cook’s three great voy­ages through orig­i­nal doc­u­ments, many of which were pro­duced by the artists, sci­en­tists and sea­men on board the ship.

From Cook’s jour­nal de­tail­ing the first cross­ing of the Antarc­tic Cir­cle to hand­writ­ten log books, stun­ning art­work and in­tri­cate maps, this ex­hi­bi­tion will chart the three voy­ages, which spanned more than a decade, and shed new light on the experience­s of peo­ple on the ship and in the places vis­ited.

Draw­ings by the Poly­ne­sian high priest and nav­i­ga­tor Tu­paia, who joined the first voy­age at Tahiti and ac­com­pa­nied Cook to New Zealand and Aus­tralia, will be go­ing on pub­lic dis­play for the first time to­gether, along­side works by ex­pe­di­tion artists Syd­ney Parkin­son, John Web­ber and Wil­liam Hodges. Tu­paia’s paint­ings in­clude a se­ries of de­pic­tions of Tahi­tian so­ci­ety and cul­ture, as well as draw­ings from New Zealand and Aus­tralia.

The ex­hi­bi­tion also ex­am­ines the sci­en­tific work of the ex­pe­di­tions and fea­tures some of the orig­i­nal nat­u­ral his­tory draw­ings made on the voy­ages, in­clud­ing the first Euro­pean de­pic­tion of a kan­ga­roo drawn by Syd­ney Parkin­son, on loan from the Nat­u­ral His­tory Mu­seum.

The Bri­tish Li­brary holds distin­guished col­lec­tions of orig­i­nal maps, art­works and jour­nals from the voy­ages and, along­side rare printed books and newly com­mis­sioned video con­tent, the ex­hi­bi­tion seeks to shed new light on en­coun­ters that com­pleted the out­line of the known world and formed the start­ing point for the fol­low­ing two cen­turies of glob­al­i­sa­tion.


Above: Banks and a Maori by Tu­paia

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