The Wilderness (Chilean Desert)
© Courtesy of Richard and John Buckham.

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The Wilderness (Chilean Desert) about 1930
In 1930 Buckham was commissioned by Fortune magazine to produce a portfolio of aerial photographs of his chosen area of the Americas. Buckman selected central and South America. This striking photograph shows the expanse of the Chilean wilderness over which Buckham flew more than 2,000 miles. He recalled that “the desert of Chile – where rain never falls and the only living things are one species each of lizard and scorpion – there is no space to tell. Not all those desert miles were flown willingly, although I am grateful to the Chilean Government for granting me the first permission ever accorded to take aerial photographs of the region where lie Chile’s rich deposits of nitrate.”

Glossary Open


When an individual or organisation employs an artist to execute a particular project, the process and the resulting work are termed a ‘commission’.


A group of art works, by one or more artists, issued or housed together in a portfolio case. This often applies to photographs or prints, and portfolios often include a title page or introductory text. The term is also used to describe a group of works which exemplify an artist's work overall.

Commission, Portfolio


  • Acc. No. PGP 197.10
  • Medium Silver gelatine print
  • Size 45.80 x 38.20 cm
  • Credit Purchased with the assistance of the Art Fund 2008