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3 Posts tagged with the terra_nova_expedition tag

It was auspicious to read in the recent news, during the last weeks of our Scott exhibition here at the Museum, that the wreck of the SS Terra Nova ship, which transported Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his team on his last Antarctic expedition, has been found off Greenland. Terra Nova was the ship that lent its name to one of the most famous of all polar expeditions and it had been lost since 1943.


Stills of the Terra Nova on its voyage to Antarctica, taken from Herbert Ponting's astonishing film of the journey, The Great White Silence.

Captain Scott and his polar party set off from Cardiff aboard the Terra Nova in 1910 on one of the most important Antarctic science missions in history. The legendary ship brought the survivors of the expedition back in 1913 and went on to be used by Antarctic coastal traders until it sank in 1943. It was found this month off the coast of Greenland, buried under 1,000 feet of icy water on the seabed.


One of our exhibition videos describes the background to the Terra Nova expedition:



Making my own personal last journey into Scott’s Last Expedition in the gallery today, it was especially poignant to watch the iconic footage of the ship’s outward journey taken by the expedition’s photographer, Herbert Ponting, in the Great White Silence film clip we show at the start of the exhibition.


It’s quite sad to think that the 100s of exhibits, unforgettable images and films that tell the unique stories of Scott and his team in the re-created Cape Evans base camp will be sailing off finally to New Zealand after the exhibition closes this Sunday, 2 September. They have really brought this incredible exhibition to life.


This photo by Ponting captured a rare warm moment as Captain Scott (right) and other members of the Northern party, Evans, Bowers, and Wilson supped food from mugs in a tent around a stove, before their final journey to the South Pole. (c) Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge

Our exhibition here and the international 100th anniversary commemorations of Scott's Last Expedition over the last year have really made their emotive mark on many of us. I genuinely feel like Scott, Wilson, Oates, Bowers, Evans and the rest of the expedition team, including Ponting, have been man-hauling bravely among us over the past months.


I have often imagined them out in the treacherous blizzards, their meals together of seal soup and tinned asparagus, starting the day with enamel bowlfuls of hot Hunter's oatmeal (shown below), poring over penguin eggs, writing diaries and scientific notes… until the bitter end.


If you haven’t experienced Scott’s Last Expedition, I urge you to visit before 17.00 this Sunday, 2 September. If you can't make it during the day, there may still be tickets available for tomorrow when it's open for our Friday Lates night.


After closing here, the exhibition goes on to open at the Canterbury Museum, New Zealand on 23 November 2012, and you can keep in touch with the work being performed by conservators on the real Cape Evans hut, which still stands today.


Book tickets online for Scott's Last Expedition


Browse the Scott's Last Expedition exhibition website


See the exhbibition gift range


Follow the work of the Antarctic Conservators in their blog



It's been a long wait, but the wall and graphic panels and display cases for our much-anticipated Scott's Last Expedition exhibition have arrived from Sydney, where the Australian National Maritime Museum's version of the exhibtion ran until October last year. After a long journey, all parts of the exhibtion are finally together here in the Museum, busily being prepared before they are moved into their new home in Dinosaur Way’s Jerwood Gallery. (And following its stay with us, the exhibition travels on to Christchurch in New Zealand.)


Behind-the-scenes exhibition photos show some of the wall panels and work in progress as the installation of Scott's last Expedition nears completion. Select images to enlarge

About 200 items including original objects, specimens collected on the Terra Nova expedition, and artefacts ranging from books and clothes to food and scientific tools used by Captain Scott and his team, will be positioned in the exhibition gallery starting today. These are the things that will really bring to life the expedition’s many stories and the team’s everyday activities, alongside the incredible archive imagery and film footage.


But as I saw yesterday and in these behind-the-scenes gallery photographs (above and below), the exhibition space is now really taking shape. All the wall-mounted images and information panels are in place and set the scene for the epic journey that awaits visitors from 20 January when the exhibition opens. You’ll notice the timber surrounds that take their inspiration from the Cape Evans hut, which was the base for Scott's expedition during its time in Antarctica. Our life-sized, walk-in representation of the hut with its central ‘animated’ table will be finished on Friday.


Colours in the exhibition space have been chosen to reflect the history and legacy of the Terra Nova expedition: from purples for Edwardian England to white for leaving the hut and snow; black for the team’s return journey and blue for the contemporary part of the narrative.


Antarctica is of course the dramatic backdrop to this exhibition which covers the Terra Nova expedition from many different perspectives. From the exhibition’s starting point - 1913’s tragic news of the death of the Polar Party - to the final cinema area showing films which explore the lasting impact of the expedition, visitors will get a real sense of the awesome landscape, enormous scale and harsh conditions of the continent.


Watch this space and our website for more news of the exhibition’s progress. Next week, on 17 January, TV and media crews arrive to get their first glimpse of the finished exhibition.


Find out more about the Scott’s Last Expedition exhibition and buy tickets online


This summer, you'll start hearing a lot more from us on the subject of Captain Robert Falcon Scott's groundbreaking Terra Nova expedition to Antartica in 1910-1913.


Scott's Last Expedition is our big exhibition opening in January 2012 and we're very excited about this it. The exhibition will show original items that Scott and the rest of the team brought to Antarctica and scientific specimens they collected. The exhibition comes to us from the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney, Australia, where it opens this June.

Adventurer Ben Fogle in Scott's Hut as it is today, appearing in the BBC Two documentary on Sunday, 17 April, 8.00 pm

But ahead of this, all Scott fans should catch a fascinating documentary this weekend, The Secrets of Scott's Hut on BBC Two. The programme airs at 8.00 on Sunday, 17 April, and follows adventurer and broadcaster Ben Fogle on his intrepid journey across frozen wastes with an international team of conservationists to preserve Scott's hut on the remote Cape Evans in Antarctica.


For the documentary, Ben Fogle was given exclusive access to Scott’s hut. He spent a few weeks in the hut with the other conservationists, working and living as Scott did under extreme conditions. Part of their mission was to restore Scott’s weather beaten hut and its artefacts, without disturbing the past.


Captain Scott (centre) and group of expedition members on return of the Southern Party, 13 April 1911. Image courtesy: H Ponting photograph, Pennell collection, Canterbury Museum NZ, 1975.289.28

'Captain Robert Falcon Scott has been a hero of mine since before I can remember,” says Ben Fogle. 'So many books have been written about his race to  the South Pole in 1911, but a century on all this new information is coming to light. It’s an extraordinary opportunity to see a part of Scott’s world that’s been lost for 100 years and to learn more about the man I’ve idolised for most of my life.'

Outside the Terra Nova hut at Cape Evans as it is today. It was erected by Scott and his British Antarctic Expedition team in 1911. © New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust

In our forthcoming exhibition, visitors will be able to explore the many captivating stories of the Terra Nova expedition, Scott’s last, to Antarctica, including the enthralling journey to the South Pole. But the exhibition also goes beyond this famous tale and explores other aspects of the expedition. Visitors will get close to many of the rare original artefacts that Scott and his team used.


Our exhibition commemorates the centenary of the expedition and celebrates its achievements.


Scott's Last Expedition is a touring exhibition opening in Sydney in 2011 and arriving in the UK in January 2012. It goes on to New Zealand in November 2012 after closing here at the Natural History Museum in London. Scott's Last Expedition is a partnership between the Natural History Museum, London; Antarctic Heritage Trust (New Zealand); and Canterbury Museum, New Zealand.

Find out about the Scott's Last Expedition exhibition


Learn more about the history of the huts, and Antarctic heritage and conservation


Follow the Antarctic conservation blog