andree balloon 03

These amazing photographs, from Andrée’s Balloon expedition into the Arctic in 1897 are on show at the Louisiana museum in Denmark, as part of the ARCTIC exhibition.

here is an extract of the museum’s text, which shows human pursuit and blind faith in the sciences:

Andrée was educated in the technical sciences and was thus a fierce rationalist; he believed in progress and industry and was an ardent enthusiast and unshakeable optimist. But when he finally took off from Svalbard, on his second attempt, he probably knew in his heart that it would never succeed. Heartbreakingly, he had become a prisoner of his own role – giving up in front of a public that had witnessed his commitment to his philosophy of the future was not an option. Posterity has debated what really mattered most to Andrée: reaching the North Pole or demonstrating the possibilities of a particular technology – balloon travel. And the consensus inclines to the latter.

andree balloon 05 andree balloon 09

August 3: Andrée writes: We photographed the story of the development of our forks. It is so warm that we do the pulling without any coats on. The ice is horrible. Clothes-drying on large scale. I made a fork for Frænkel. The forks photographed.


More about the exhibition here and here on the beautiful exhibition website/webbook