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Frederick A. Cook: the role of photography in the making of his polar explorer-hero image


Millar, P, Frederick A. Cook: the role of photography in the making of his polar explorer-hero image, Polar record, 51, (4) pp. 1-12. ISSN 0032-2474 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Cambridge University Press

DOI: doi:10.1017/S0032247414000424


This paper aims to show how the photography of Frederick A. Cook (1865–1940) played an important role in the making of his polar explorer-hero image. It considers portraits and Arctic and Antarctic photographs that Cook used in his own publications and illustrated lectures, and which he provided for press articles. The paper is underpinned by discourse analysis and the concept of the photograph as a representation of reality filtered through various lenses. The visual impact and discursive messages of the photographs were aimed at situating readers and audiences in responsive attitudes that would generate a public persona which he exploited to increase his fame and heroic reputation. In time, Cook’s photography also played a critical part in the collapse of the hero image.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:polar photography, exploration, representation
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical studies
Research Field:Historical studies not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:Visual communication
UTAS Author:Millar, P (Dr Patricia Millar)
ID Code:93002
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2014-07-04
Last Modified:2018-02-17

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