The American Museum of Natural History, New York curated this exhibition in 2000 and since then it has travelled America, Ireland, Spain and the UK. The exhibition has been painstakingly assembled to provide us with a remarkable insight into the lives of those who lived through the horrors of the expedition, including three Irishmen, Ernest Shackleton from Kildare, Tom Crean from Kerry and Tim McCarthy from Cork.
Through wall texts, diary excerpts, a replica of the James Caird and Frank Hurley’s sumptuous black-and-white images of the Endurance and its crew, this exhibition attempts to capture the compelling spirit of the 1914-17 Trans-Antarctic Expedition.
The breathtaking, “terrible beauty” of the White Continent, the abandonment and sinking of the ship, the shift to living on the pack ice, daily life in the various camps, the treacherous weather and near-total darkness of the Antarctic winter, their isolation on Elephant Island and their final, triumphant rescue and return—it’s all here.
This is the story of the Endurance, of the bravery and miraculous survival of its crew and of their faith in their expedition leader, Sir Ernest Shackleton. It really is a survival story like no other.