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24 May 2024 - 15 September 2024

10:00AM - 5:00PM

Oriental Museum, Elvet Hill, Durham, DH1 3TH

  • It is FREE to visit the Oriental Museum and this exhibition

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This exhibition marks the centenary of the 1924 Mount Everest Expedition, the first Western, and ultimately tragic, attempt to climb the highest mountain in the world.

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'Passing through the "Trough" enroute to camp 3' from the Bentley Beetham Collection

The story is told from the perspective of one man, Bentley Beetham, using pictures selected from his large collection of photographs and glass lantern slides taken during the course of the expedition.

Bentley Beetham was born in Darlington and attended Barnard Castle School, later returning to the school as a biology teacher. He learned to climb first in the Lake District and then the Alps but had never climbed in Asia before joining the expedition.  With fellow expedition members George Mallory and Andrew Irvine he set out on an adventure of a lifetime. What he lacked in experience Beetham amply made up for in enthusiasm and his skill as a photographer would prove invaluable.

Artist Stephen Livingstone has worked with members of the Bentley Beetham Trust to select and interpret 200 of Beetham’s images. These will be used to recreate the journey of the expedition team around the museum’s walls. 

Situated at the heart of the Himalayan mountain range Everest straddles the border between Nepal and Tibet. The mountain is sacred to all the peoples of the region.  Alongside the images will be an audio commentary created by members of the regional Nepali community, adding a Himalayan perspective to these powerful photographs.   

The Bentley Beetham Collection is available for study as part of the Archives and Special Collections at Palace Green Library.  and . 




It is FREE to visit the Oriental Museum and this exhibition