An award-winning Cornish museum has teamed up with the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) to present an exhibition that celebrates a pioneer of polar exploration, Sir Ernest Shackleton.
This year marks the centenary of Shackleton’s death in 1922 during the Quest expedition to Antarctica. The explorer’s legacy, extraordinary expeditions and the power of early Antarctic photography will take centre stage at Charlestown’s Shipwreck Treasure Museum from 9 April.
Shackleton’s story has long been a subject of intrigue and the finding this month of the wreck of Endurance, the vessel from his infamous attempt to be the first to cross Antarctica, by the Endurance22 expedition has propelled his exploits into global news once again.
The 1914-17 expedition was a pivotal moment in the explorer’s career, successfully turning disaster when Endurance was crushed in ice floes, into triumphant survival, and where his focus on photography to document the experience was key in bringing their amazing story of survival to life.
Museum visitors will begin their journey into the past by descending into the network of tunnels beneath the attraction that has been transformed into a polar backdrop for The Shackleton Experience. It will tell the story of Shackleton’s daring mission for all ages to enjoy. The truly immersive experience into Shackleton’s world will be accompanied by a soundscape of actors voicing key excerpts from his diary from the adventure.
Shackleton’s legacy and the power of early Antarctic photography exhibition will explore the influences behind Shackleton’s passion for the Antarctic through polar photography. It provides the opportunity to marvel at a selection of stunning images taken by the pioneering photographer, Frank Hurley, who was commissioned to join the Imperial Trans-Antarctic expedition.
Lynné Raubenheimer, Visitor Engagement Manager at the Shipwreck Treasure Museum said:
“Sir Ernest Shackleton’s legacy is as powerful and fascinating as ever, even more than a century later. His exploits continue to inspire, teach, and intrigue us. The well-preserved wreck of Endurance having been just found 3000m below the icy Weddell Sea has brought the wonder of his incredible story back into the spotlight.
“We’re very excited to host this captivating exhibition in association with the RGS-IBG, it’s something very special and we’re proud to have it in Cornwall for the first time. We look forward to welcoming visitors of all ages to immerse themselves in this incredible era of boundary-pushing, dangerous and daring exploration. There will be something for everyone to enjoy including fun activities for families.”
The attraction is also planning a series of related talks and events during the exhibition’s run including a screening of South, a silent film released in 1919 with footage also captured by Frank Hurley.
The new exhibitions will open at the Shipwreck Treasure Museum, which is also home to thousands of artefacts from more than 150 wrecks, on 9 April and will run until 30 October 2022.
For more information to plan your visit and book tickets, see www.shipwreckcharlestown.co.uk