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Exhibitions Celebrate 1953 Everest Expedition

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Category: Events

Exhibitions Celebrate 1953 Everest Expedition - Two exhibitions to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first successful ascent of Mount Everest are on display in London.

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Bourdillon at the South Summit - Mount Everest Expedition 1953
Bourdillon at the South Summit - Mount Everest Expedition 1953. Courtesy of RGS.

Stunning images capturing the technology behind the first successful ascent of Mount Everest 60 years ago will be on show at two major exhibitions by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).

Innovation Everest is on now until 14 June 2013 at the Royal Geographical Society. It examines new and innovative technologies used in the 1953 expedition and looks at the legacy which they provide today, beyond the call of Mount Everest.

The exhibition documents how the expedition’s success or failure depended on over 150 (mainly British) government departments, research bodies, designers and manufacturers, demonstrating how innovation in advanced materials, clothing, wireless and other technologies could give the 1953 expedition a winning advantage.

A story of ingenuity, Innovation Everest shows you how, post 1953, these technologies were adapted for wider use in other theatres: from specialist breathing apparatus developed to transform the lives of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease across the world and high altitude scientific research which supports today’s sports science for elite athletes; to the evolution of wireless communications equipment and clothing created to meet the needs of the expedition.

Alasdair Macleod, Head of Enterprise and Resources, said: "We are delighted to open up the Society’s archives to offer a different perspective on the historic 1953 British Mount Everest expedition, combining stunning photography – which captures the endeavour and iconic achievement of the mountaineers – with some of the lesser-known stories of those individuals and companies that supported the expedition through their ingenuity and technological expertise."

Everest 1953 is on from 23 May – 9 June 2013 at the Oxo Gallery. It presents a major photographic exhibition and fine art sale of 40 limited edition photographic prints chosen from over 2,000 images taken during this epic feat.

Each of the exhibited prints have been created from original photography unique to the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and held in the Society’s temperature and humidity controlled archive. The most iconic colour images from this ground breaking expedition have been specially selected and printed as never before. Also represented in the exhibition are a selection of stunning black and white images, which have been beautifully hand-printed from the original negatives as silver gelatine prints.

The exhibition accompanies the Society’s official anniversary publication ‘Everest’ produced in association with Ammonite Press, containing 400 images from the nine British Mount Everest expeditions.

For more information, take a look at the Royal Geographical Society's website.

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