Articles

Shackleton - Escape from Antarctica

It’s one of the greatest survival stories of all time and now, over 100 years later, a new panel display on tour from the Australian National Maritime Museum invites visitors to walk in the footsteps of famous Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton and discover his epic voyage of survival for themselves.

Shackleton: Escape from Antarctica, brings together first-hand accounts and dramatic images by official expedition photographer Australian Frank Hurley to tell the compelling story of Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914-17 and his bid to stay alive.

Shackleton set out in August 1914 with a bold plan to be the first to cross Antarctica’s vast interior. His strategy was to have two parties working from opposite sides of the continent. He would lead the Weddell Sea crossing party while a second Ross Sea supply party would lay critical rations ahead of him.

Both ships were ultimately lost to their crews (one crushed and the other wrenched away by the ice), Shackleton’s party would never even touch the continent they hoped to cross, and the other would be marooned on it, desperately sledging across hundreds of kilometres of ice to lay depots for the party which would never come.

Through the eyes of modern-day adventurer Tim Jarvis AM, who re-enacted parts of Shackleton’s journey, and biologist and Shackleton fellow Mel Mackenzie, the display follows the harrowing experiences of both parties and asks visitors to think about their reaction and decisions.

The Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney is the national centre for maritime collections, exhibitions, research and archaeology. As a Commonwealth cultural institution the museum is also committed to fulfilling its national mandate by developing programs and opportunities to share its expertise, collection and the national maritime story with regional communities throughout Australia.

Portland Library
18 September – 27 October

Dogs and dogloos beside the trapped Endurance, with meteorological station at its stern, 1915, Frank Hurley photographer, courtesy Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

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