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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mountains: Climbing to the Top

Mountains are a distinctive geographic feature that ripple throughout Asia.  They can be seen as backdrops to cities and at the center of epic adventures.
Kurdistan, Iraq: Kuh-e Owraman Mountain Range, View of Canyon of Aw-i Shirwan, [graphic]

Iran:  Encapment and Village in the Mountains [graphic]

Hakone, Japan: View of Lake Ashi and mountains circa 1860s.

North of Tehran, Iran: Man Seated on a Mountain Top in Shimiran [graphic]

Hakone, Japan:  View of Ojigoku on great boiling springs [1860 - ca. 1900]. [graphic]

I encountered the mountain below during some routine archives work (yes, even the exciting world of archivists can be dominated by routine!).  But this time, I was surprised to find this charming drawing while performing a physical check of the map cases in our archive. I was almost done in a bottom drawer when I found it, and upon closer inspection I recognized it as the signature of Sir Edmund Hilary— he and his Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay were the first men to reach the summit of Mt. Everest.

Sir Edmund Hillary autograph, November 16, 1998
Hillary accepted an award at the Smithsonian in 1998, in honor of his ‘monumental explorations and humanitarian achievements.’ According to the item’s catalog record, this autograph drawing was made by Hillary during a press conference at the Freer Gallery on November 16.The signature is quite large it takes up an entire page, very much like mountains often do in photographs.

Lara Amrod, Archivist
Freer|Sackler Archives

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