Dr. Edward Wilson (1872-1912) is one of the most famous native sons of Cheltenham. He was an influential figure of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, being chiefly remembered today as the artistic scientist who died with Captain Scott.
Dr. Edward Adrian Wilson BA, MB (Cantab.), FZS was born in Montpellier Parade, Cheltenham on 23 July 1872. He was educated at Cheltenham College, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and St. George's Hospital, London, becoming a highly regarded self-taught artist and field naturalist. Contracting tuberculosis from his mission work in London slums, he nevertheless recovered to be appointed as the Assistant Surgeon and Vertebrate Zoologist to the British National Antarctic Expedition (1901-1904) aboard Discovery, under Commander Robert Falcon Scott. Upon return he was appointed Field Observer to the Grouse Disease Inquiry and illustrated wildlife books. In 1910 he returned to the Antarctic with Captain Scott aboard Terra Nova as Chief of the Scientific Staff. He died with his comrades on the return from the South Pole in 1912..
A major exhibiton of polar paintings and photographs is to be held during the first two weeks of August 2016 at Bonhams in London. The exhibition will showcase archive treasures from the art and photographic collections of the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge.
The exhibition will bring together art work by Dr. Edward Adrian Wilson (1872-1912) and photographs taken by the photographer of Scott's second expedition, Herbert Ponting. Also on show will be photographs taken by Captain Scott himself and art work by contemporary artists from the SPRI Antarctic Artist in Residence Programme, which is sponsored by Bonhams in co-operation with the SPRI and the Royal Navy.
This is the first chance to see a large exhibition of Wilson's paintings in some years and is an opportunity not to be missed!
Thursday 7th July, Friday 8th July 2016, 8.00 pm
First performed at the Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham to commemorate the centenary of Capt Scott's ill fated mission to the South Pole, this play charts the life of Edward Wilson, explorer and naturalist on Scott's journeys to the Antarctic. Wilson encounters a mysterious figure as he and his fellow explorers face the end of their journey at the Pole. Cheltenham born Edward Wilson, the naturalist, was also a caring and religious man and the play explores all facets of his character, not only as an enthusiastic man of science and exploration but also a brave one who died at the South Pole.
"A sledge-load of information... wide-eyed in wonder, still jawed in admiration... a worthy addition to events celebrating (Wilson's) bravery" - Gloucester Echo.
There are several recent books and other products which feature Edward Wilson. See the site shop for details..
- There are a number of relics and paintings connected to the Antarctic expeditions, including the Pole Journey, on permanent display in The Wilson Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum, Clarence Street, Cheltenham. There is a small Wilson Room dedicated to Edward Wilson of the Antarctic and a considerable display of material relating to Edward Wilson and his family in the Paper Store of the new Open Archive. The Paper Store exhibit is changed on a regular basis to give better public access to The Wilson Family Archive.
- There are a small number of Edward Wilson's Antarctic relics and artworks connected to the South Pole journey, and other items on permanent display in the Museum of the Scott Polar Research Institute, Lensfield Rd, Cambridge, UK
- There are a number of relics connected with Edward Wilson and the British National Antarctic Expedition 1901-1904 aboard the S.S. Discovery on permanent display at Discovery Point Dundee, UK