Dr Edward Wilson was appointed as a doctor, zoologist and artist to the British National Antarctic expedition, more commonly called ‘The Discovery’ expedition, in November 1900. He had the full support of Scott, but went at his own risk, as he had had TB and blood poisoning.
Edward Wilson trying on Officer’s furs for The Discovery Expedition in the garden at Westal, Cheltenham. They were found to be too heavy, and for his next expedition Scott used layered clothing. This suit is now in Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum.
The Great Ice Barrier, sketch by Edward Wilson, from the South Polar Times, 1902. Wilson wrote on 22 January 1902 ‘Out before us on the left was the open sea with a few bits of ice ….. Then came the cliff of the Ice Barrier stretching away like a coast line irregularly with one or two large bays and promontories, for near 60 miles as far as one could see with glasses.
Ballooning in the Antarctic, sketch by Edward Wilson, from the South Polar Times, June 1902. The balloon ascent was made to gain height and see if land was visible, the first flight by human beings in the Antarctic.
Ballooning in the Antarctic, sketch by Edward Wilson, from the South Polar Times, June 1902. The balloon rose to 700 feet, but even in good conditions, no land could be seen. Wilson himself declined to go up in it, as he was busy with other scienfic work.
Discovery in Winter Quarters, watercolour by Edward Wilson, 1902. The Discovery anchored for the winter, huts were built on shore for scientific work, and entertainments were devised to while away the cold months.
Mugs and plate used by Wilson on the Discovery Expedition. Special china and enamelware was used in the hut, with a logo designed by Wilson, but something more robust was needed when the scientists and explorers were out and about. These were given to the museum by Wilson’s sister, Ida.
Wilson’s ice axe or pick, with an image showing that it was given to the museum by his widow, Oriana Wilson. She gave Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum many of her late husband’s atefacts which provide the basis of the Wilson Gallery.
Images of the onboard journal, The South Polar Times. Edward Wilson made most of the illustrations, though other members also contributed art work. Everyone entered articles, poems, quizzes and cartoons. One copy was made on board and presented to Scott.
We have put the images on line for you to enjoy but please do not use them in any form of publication without permission.