October 2023

Gloucestershire Heritage Hub

The Frozen Continent

We have been delighted to support the 'Frozen Continent' exhibition at the Wilson in Cheltenham.  The focus of the exhibition is the eponymous Edward Adrian Wilson, after whom the gallery is named.  Born in Cheltenham, he is perhaps best known as a heroic but ill fated explorer who perished alongside Captain Scott and three other men during an expedition to the South Pole in 1910.  But his role of Chief of Scientific Staff also drew on his skills both as a naturalist and an accomplished artist.

Alas, a stuffed penguin we were memorably presented with some years ago, along with other Wilson related items, did not fit our collecting policy and was transferred to join others of its kind at the museum.  But we do still hold several boxes of archive material relating to the Wilson family which include a scrapbook of drawings by the young Edward (D10725 accession 10725).  This early work clearly shows his artistic ability and interest in the natural world. 

Our conservator Ann Attwood carried out a thorough condition assessment of the volume and made a book cradle for this unique item so it can be safely displayed. One unusual feature of the scrapbook is that two of the drawings seem to be done on a extremely early plastic.   

See the scrapbook and other fascinating Wilson related material showcased in 'The Frozen Continent' from 7 October 2023 –18 February 2024. https://www.cheltenhammuseum.org.uk/exhibitions/


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