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Grolier Club Exhibitions

Influenced by Vittorio Sella

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Günter Oskar Dyhrenfurth.
Baltoro Ein Himalaya-Buch: Mit Beiträgen von Hettie Dyhrenfurth, Hans Ertl and Andre Roch.
Basel: Benno Scwabe and Co., 1939.

Günter Oskar Dyhrenfurth (1886–1975) was a German and Swiss mountaineer, filmmaker, and author. He led several Himalayan expeditions, including this one in 1934 to the Baltoro region, in the Karakoram, to explore the Gasherbrum group. This expedition provided detailed information about the accessibility of the 8,000 m peaks in the region.

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Ardito Desio.
Victory over K2: Second Highest Peak in the World.
New York: McGraw-Hill, 1956.
Signed by summiteers Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni.

This is the standard history documenting the first ascent of K2 by the Italian climbers Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni, on the 1954 Italian expedition led by Ardito Desio. Before leaving for K2, members of the exhibition gathered at the Instituto Sella, in Biella, to study Vittorio Sella’s photographs of the mountain and determine their route.

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Ardito Desio.
La Conquista del K2: Seconda Cima del Mondo.
Milan: Garzanti, 1954.
Signed by Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni.

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Charles S. Houston and Robert H. Bates.
K2: The Savage Mountain.
New York: McGraw-Hill, 1954.
Signed by the author.

Charles Houston (1913–2009) was an American physician, mountaineer, scientist, and author who made two important attempts to climb K2. This book describes the 1953 attempt that was overshadowed by the tragic death of Art Gilkey, a member of the expedition. A heroic effort by the team to carry him down to safety precipitated an almost catastrophic fall, with most of the team sliding out of control, roped together, down the mountain.

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Ansel Adams.
“Vittorio Sella: His Photography.”
Sierra Club Bulletin 31, no. 7 (December 1946).

In this article, Ansel Adams paid tribute to Vittorio Sella: “with Sella’s sensitive insight and response the magnificence of mountains is distilled into a high order of expression . . . the purity of Sella’s interpretations move the spectator to a religious awe. Sella has brought to us not only the facts and forms of far-off splendours of the world, but the essence of experience which finds a spiritual response in the inner recesses of our mind and heart.”

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Ronald Clark.
The Splendid Hills: The Life and Photographs of Vittorio Sella 1859–1943.
London: Phoenix House, 1948.

Ronald Clark (1916–1987) was a British author who served as a correspondent during World War II and reported on the Nuremberg trials. Shortly after Vittorio Sella’s death, Clark spent time in Biella to research the photographer’s work and prepare this biography.

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Rick Ridgeway.
The Last Step: The American Ascent of K2.
Seattle: The Mountaineers, 1980.
Signed by climbers Jim Whittaker, Rick Ridgeway, John Roskelley, and the expedition photographer Dianne Roberts.

On September 6 and 7, 1978, a fourteen-person team—the first Americans and third team in history—worked together to get four climbers to the summit of K2. The team was led by Jim Whittaker, the first American to summit Mount Everest.