Sponsored By:
Ohio State University
Catskill Sullivan Tourism
Little Sparrow

Join Us Friday
June 21st

Reception: 4 – 6 pm
Panel discussion:
6 – 7 pm

The Frederick Cook Society & Sullivan County Museum present:

A Romanian Photography Exhibition

La Patria 1894

La Patria before it was renamed Belgica • 1894

An extraordinary international collaboration

At the end of the 19th century, Antarctica was the last uncharted place on earth.  But that was about to change.  On August 16th, 1897, the Belgica ship set sail from Antwerp under the command of  the Belgian naval officer Adrien de Gerlache.  Nineteen young men of 6 different nations on a 3-mast wooden ship were to chart a new path into the frozen unknown.

Returning on Nov 5, 1899, the Belgica brought back a wealth of scientific data, and one of the greatest victories of the human mind and spirit over the dominion and powers of nature.

Celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Belgian Antarctic Expedition, the Frederick Cook Society presents an exhibition of panels depicting drawings and photographs from the Romanian scientist, Emil Racovitza (1868-1947). Racovitza was one of the scientists selected to be part of Belgica’s international crew.  He was also a talented artist who produced numerous sketches and photographs during the expedition. Later in his career as a speleologist, Racovitza established in Romania the first Speological Institute in the world, and explored over 1,400 caves in France, Spain, Algeria, Italy, and Slovenia.  He served for four years as President of the Romanian Academy, and went on to become one of Romania’s most beloved promoters of the Natural Sciences. 

Legacies of the Belgica:

125 Years of Polar Science and Exploration.

Exhibition opening reception from 4 – 6 pm with a panel discussion from 6 – 7 pm.
Meet our panelists:

Dr. Marcu and Dr. Pickman

Dr. Oana Marcu, co-founder of the Racovitza Foundation (racovitza-foundation.org/en/), and Dr. Sarah Pickman, an independent historian of exploration, will discuss the scientific achievements of the famous Belgian polar expedition. They will also focus on the development of equipment for expeditions in the nineteenth and early twentieth century.  Dr. Pickman is a graduate of the Yale, History of Science and Medicine Program.

The First Photographs of Antarctica and Its Frozen Surroundings

De Gerlache and crew membersIn addition to the Racovitza collection, the exhibition will include one of the largest exhibitions of photographs from the Belgica expedition ever assembled. Five of the nineteen crew members had cameras, including Dr. Frederick Cook.

Also on display will be one of the Belgica’s rare remaining artifacts – a sled, designed and built by Frederick Cook and his brother Theodore, at their Hortonville, New York home. This extraordinary piece of history has the distinction of being used by both Cook and South Pole conqueror, Roald Amundsen.  Amundsen was 1st Mate on the Belgica and became Cook’s lifelong friend during the expedition. The two men are often jointly credited with saving the ship, which became the first voyage ever to survive an Antarctic winter.

For their contributions to the exhibit the Cook Society gratefully acknowledges the Romanian Academy Library, the Racovitza Foundation, the Amundsen House in Norway, the MAS Museum in Antwerp, Patrick De Deckker, Professor Emeritus of the Australian National University, and Laura Kissel, Polar Curator of the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center at the Ohio State University.

Please join us Friday, June 21st, from 4-6pm for a reception, followed by a panel discussion at 6pm entitled “Legacies of the Belgica: 125 Years of Polar Science and Exploration”.  Panelists include Dr. Oana Marcu, co-founder of the Racovitza Foundation (racovitza-foundation.org/en/), and Dr. Sarah Pickman, an independent historian of exploration, whose work focuses on equipment for expeditions in the nineteenth and early twentieth century.  Dr. Pickman is a graduate of the Yale, History of Science and Medicine Program.

The Racovitza collection is on generous loan from the Stephan cel Mare Museum, în Vaslui, Romania.

The Belgica
DeGerlache
We are grateful to the following benefactors for their help on The Frederick A. Cook Polar project:
Julian Sancton, Author, Madhouse at the End of the Earth • DesignLab Scanning and Printing Services by Nick Clemente  designlabny.comFine and Applied Art Services  Archival Framing  rpseehausen@gmail.comMyron Gittell, Sullivan County Historical Society, Board Member • Roger Dowd, Website & Graphic Design

For more information contact Carol Smith, Frederick Cook Society, Executive Director, at 845 671-9548 or email: carol@frederickcookpolar.org

Friday, June 21st • 4 – 7 pm

Sullivan County Museum
265 Main Street
Hurleyville, NY 12747

845-434-8044

© The Frederick Cook Society | 2022
Sullivan County Museum P.O. Box 247. Hurleyville, NY 12747
FACpolar@frederickcookpolar.org

Site design by Roger Dowd Design