Uummannaq Polar Institute

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'When the Colour Ceases to Be Just a Colour'
Exhibition: Rockwell Kent's Greenland Paintings

Rockwell Kent (1882–1971) was an American visual artist. In addition, Kent was an author, illustrator and adventurer.

He visited Greenland three times between 1929 and 1935. The first time he shipwrecked with his two companions in a storm near the coast about 30 kilometres south of Nuuk, but they managed to get ashore unharmed.

They ended up in Nuuk where Kent decided to stay for a few months in order to paint the Greenlandic nature and meet the Greenlandic people who had made a deep impression on him from the very beginning.

He became so happy with the Greenlandic nature and people that he decided to return as soon as possible. On the advice of Peter Freuchen he made his home in the settlement Illorsuit in the Uummannaq district. The first time from summer 1931 to autumn 1932 and the second time from autumn 1934 to summer 1935.

During the stays he was very productive as painter and he wrote the book Salamina. The exhibition includes 26 paintings made during the three stays in Greenland.

Click the picture to see all exhibition posters.

Link to: Past and upcoming exhibitions

Exhibition: 'Greenland 100 Years Ago'
UPI has produced an international exhibition showing a selection of Arnold Heim's hand-coloured photos from his expedition (partly together with Alfred de Quervain) in 1909 and a selection of expedition photos from Alfred de Quervain's crossing of the Ice Cap in 1912.

The exhibition at Université de Versailles

Link to a leaflet in different languages about the exhibition:


'Greenland 100 Years Ago' has been exhibited in Katuaq, Nuuk; at "focusTerra", Zürich; open air in Uummannaq; Interlaken, Switzerland; Ilulissat Art Museum; Greenland House, Copenhagen;Tabakspeicher, Nordhausen, Germany; Tasiilaq Museum; Ittoqqortoormiit Cultural House; Greenland House in Aarhus and Aalborg, Denmark; Université de Versailles, Paris; Fram Museum, Oslo, Ice Sea Museum, Brandal, ZIL Cultural Centre, Moscow, and many other places.

See a review of the exhibition places.

Link to photos from the exhibitions.

Karen from Uummannaq was an indispensable carrier and cook for de Quervain’s expedition
Uummannaq, August 16, 1909 - Photo: Arnold Heim, ETH-Bibliothek Zürich, Image Archive

About Alfred de Quervain
Alfred de Quervain in Ammassalik-Tasiilaq 1912

Swiss meteorologist and polar explorer.

Born June 15, 1879, in Uebeschi, Thun; died January 6, 1927 in Zürich.

In 1909 he first entered the Ice Cab from Uummannaq Fjord. In 1912 he was the first to cross Greenland from west to east.

De Quervain was director of "Schweizerische Meteorologische Zentralanstalt" (Now "MeteoSwiss").

Read about Alfred de Quervain's expedition in 1909 in three different languages by clicking the flags below.




About Arnold Heim
Arnold Heim

Swiss geologist and polar explorer.

Born in Zürich, Switzerland in 1882 and died in 1965.

In 1909 he organized a scientific expedition to Disko Bay, Nuussuaq Peninsula and Uummannaq Fjord; the final part to Qarajaq Nunataa he carried through together with Alfred de Quervain.

He did more than 400 photos of wich about 130 was hand colored as early as year 1911.

Read about Arnold Heim's expedition in 1909 in two different languages by clicking the flags below.




Exhibition: 'Chukotka 2011 and 2014'
In 2011 and again in 2014 UPI and the Children's Home travelled to Chukotka and participated in Beringia Arctic Games.

UPI has produced an exhibition of 28 photos from the two stays in Chukotka.

It has been exhibited in Uummannaq, Nanortalik, Paamiut, Qeqertarsuaq and at ZIL Cultural Centre, Moscow.


Link to the 25 exhibition photos (6MB/pdf)
Poster about Chukotka
Chukotka map 1
Chukotka map 2

The photographers are:
Jonna Færø (2011) and Hans Petter Sørensen (2014).

Exhibition: 'Iceberg Tales'
The photo exhibition 'Iceberg Tale' was produced i 2014 and exhibited on the ice near Uummannaq. The exhibition is composed of 28 photos.

Iceberg Tales on Ice
Link to the video 'Icebergs on Ice'

Link to the exhibition photos:
4 posters 60x90 cm and
24 posters 90x60 cm

The photographers are:
Jean-Michel Huctin, Magssanguaq Qujaukitsoq, Sofie Andersen, René Kristensen og Erik Torm.

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