Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

The Antarctic Butcher

A man uses an ax to process meat from a seal for the dogs that are waiting
Description: Painting, Watercolor on Paper; by Standish Backus; 1956; Unframed Dimensions 23H X 31W
Accession #: 88-186-BM
Related Content

 The artist's dramatic depiction of the seaman in mid-swing makes this scene appear somewhat barbaric, but in actuality, killing seals in order to feed the sled dogs was a regular, necessary task. Task Force 43 had twenty-eight huskies as part of the crew. They were on hand for rescue and reconnaissance and were used where heavy track vehicles would bog down in snow and ice. 

Topic
  • Exploration, Expeditions and Voyages
Document Type
  • Art
Wars & Conflicts
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Location of Archival Materials