Edmund Hillary, The Journey Captured

By November 4, 2019News

This year marks the centenary of Sir Edmund Hillary’s birth, Webb’s is honoured to commemorate the occasion with a presentation of photographic prints by Alfred Gregory depicting the epic journey of Sir Edmond Hillary’s summit of Mt Everest. The 77 prints will be exhibited at the Webb’s gallery and available for public viewing from the 5th October to the 14th October with an online auction running over the same period and closing at 8pm on 14th October.

The 1953 British Mount Everest expedition was the ninth mountaineering expedition to attempt the first ascent of Mount Everest, and the first confirmed to have succeeded when New Zealand beekeeper, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay a Nepalese Sherpa reached the summit on Friday, 29 May 1953.

Gregory, who journeyed with Sir Edmond Hillary to the summit of Mt Everest in 1953 captured this epic climb through his lens including engaging moments between Hillary and Tenzing who reached the highest point on Earth together at 11:30 a.m. on May 29.

Alfred Gregory (Greg) 1913 – 2010 – FBIPP Hon FRPS climber, explorer and photographer was born in Blackburn, Lancashire UK.  During the second World War he served as an officer in the Black Watch in North Africa and Italy. In 1952 he was with Shipton’s Cho Oyu expedition in Nepal and in 1953 he was chosen as a climbing member of the British team, led by John Hunt, which made the first ascent of Mt Everest where he reached 8500 metres in support of the Hillary and Tenzing successful summit attempt. He was also the official stills photographer for the expedition. Throughout the 1950s he led several expeditions: in Nepal, to Rolwaling and the Gauri Shankar massif where 19 new peaks were climbed and a plane table survey made, and to Ama Dablam; to Distigil Sar, Karakoram, in Pakistan: to the Cordillera Blanca in Peru.

This infamous adventure, depicted in the 77 photographic prints featured in this exhibition and online auction are immortalised through Gregory’s images, showing both the widely recognised and lesser-known intimate moments of this epic historic achievement.

On Saturday the 12th October at 11am Webb’s will host Alexa Johnston, curator of the exhibition Sir Edmund Hillary: Everest and Beyond for Auckland War Memorial Museum for a talk and Q&A in collaboration with Art Week.

After completing an M.A. in Art History in 1978 Alexa Johnston spent 19 years as a curator at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki.  She is now an independent writer and curator. In 2002 she was curator of the exhibition Sir Edmund Hillary: Everest and Beyond for Auckland War Memorial Museum. Her authorised, illustrated biography of Sir Edmund Hillary, Sir Edmund Hillary: An Extraordinary Life was published by Penguin in 2005.