Enfilade

Exhibition | James Cook: The Voyages

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on April 30, 2018

Now on view at the British Library, with lots of information and resources on the BL’s exhibition website:

James Cook: The Voyages
British Library, London, 27 April — 28 August 2018

Curated by William Frame and Laura Walker

It is 250 years since the Endeavour set sail from Plymouth in August of 1768. Our exhibition tells the story of Captain James Cook’s three world-changing voyages through original documents, many of which were produced by the artists, scientists, and sailors on board the ships. Maps, artworks, and journals from the voyages sit alongside newly-commissioned films offering contemporary perspectives. Examine the expeditions that shaped Europe’s knowledge of the world and consider their far-reaching legacy.

See Cook’s handwritten journal detailing the first crossing of the Antarctic Circle, when they travelled further south than anyone in the world, stunning artwork including the earliest European depiction of a kangaroo, and intricate maps charting the voyages that spanned more than a decade. Learn about the experiences on board the Endeavour, Resolution, and Discovery and the impact of their arrival. Drawings by the Polynesian high priest and navigator Tupaia, who accompanied Cook to New Zealand and Australia, will be displayed together for the first time. These will sit alongside works by expedition artists Sydney Parkinson, William Hodges, and John Webber.

Visit our James Cook: The Voyages website for a range of different perspectives on the voyages and their legacy and impact. These include responses from people of the communities Cook encountered, documented, and learned from. You can also follow the timeline of the journeys, read articles about the individual voyages and immerse yourself in the expeditions through our digitised collection items.

Hear the stories. Read the diaries. Revisit the momentous voyages made 250 years ago.

Programming information is available here»

William Frame with Laura Walker, James Cook: The Voyages (London: British Library Publishing, 2018), 224 pages, ISBN: 978-0773552869, £25 / $45.

A stunningly illustrated, object-centred history, this book offers a once in a generation opportunity to discover the uniquely rich Captain Cook collection of the British Library. The authors explore a series of themes including the navigation and charting of the Pacific; first encounters between Western and indigenous cultures; the representation of the voyages in art; and scientific discovery and the natural world. Themes of cultural encounter and scientific discovery are interwoven with the personal stories of the key protagonists, including James Cook and Joseph Banks. The illustrations include drawings by all the artists employed on the voyage, as well as the only surviving paintings by Tupaia, a Polynesian high priest who joined Cook’s ship at Tahiti and sailed to New Zealand and Australia.

William Frame is head of modern archives and manuscripts at the British Library. Laura Walker is lead curator of modern archives and manuscripts, 1850–1950, at the British Library.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s