Objects | Inventions and Firsts


Portrait of Omai, 1777

Captain Cook Birthplace Museum, Tees Valley

Firsts, Learning and Discovery

1600 – 1799

This portrait is taken from the official account of the first recorded voyage south of the Antarctic Circle, led by Captain James Cook.

Cook was born in Marton, now a suburb of Middlesbrough, and is regarded as one of the greatest pioneering sailors and explorers of all time. His three great Pacific voyages are some of the earliest pioneering European voyages.

This account records some of his greatest achievements during his second voyage (1772-75), including the first observations made south of the Antarctic Circle, along with the places and the flora, fauna, people and their cultures of the Pacific islands. It includes engravings of charts from the voyage and of topographical and portrait illustrations such as the one shown, mainly by the official voyage artist, William Hodges.

Portrait of Omai, based on a portrait by William Hodges from A Voyage Towards the South Pole and Round the World.

In the collection of the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum, Middlesbrough Museums, Middlesbrough Council

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