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Events & exhibitions

Exhibitions in the museum

Exhibition poster

Ice From Above

Exploring our icy world from the sky and space

The idea of looking at ice from above might seem simple. However, there are many different tools we can use, from satellites to drones, and using different types of sensing equipment means we are not limited to what the human eye can see. Technology can help us to gather lots of different types of information about our icy world.

The real skill of the observer is in analysing and presenting those findings, whether as an artist or scientist. What do you see when you look at ice from above?

This exhibition is presented in collaboration with Silverstrand Philanthropies, a Singapore-based grantmaker focused on enhancing biodiversity through advocacy, capacity building, and research.

Open to the public from 5 November 2022 - August 2023

Special display

Protective Harbour - print by Pudlo Pudlat

Remembering Sir Ernest Shackleton

On display from 5 January 2022

Known for his resilience, leadership skills and loyalty to his crew, in even the direst of circumstances, Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton contributed greatly to the exploration of the Antarctic. In recent years, his legacy has influenced training programmes on the art of leadership and crisis management.

Shackleton participated in four Antarctic expeditions, leading three. Tragically, he died suddenly of heart failure on 5 January 1922, during the Shackleton-Rowett Antarctic Expedition 1921-22 (Quest), aged 47. He was buried in South Georgia following the request of his wife, Emily, that he be buried as far South as possible.

This small display presents Shackleton's Quest diary. The final four entries feature his notes on the difficulties faced by the crew on the journey, his concerns as a leader and, poignantly, his reflective mood upon arriving in South Georgia.

The final words of his last entry read:
"In the darkening twilight I saw a lone star hover, gem-like above the bay..."

Marking hte 50th anniversary of the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment adopting a ten-year moratorium on commercial whaling and the 40th anniversary of the International Whaling Commission vote in 1982 to pause commercial whaling.


On display on Saturdays (weather permitting) from 1 July - 4 November 2022

ReCover is about remembering and hope. Artist Caroline Hack has made a tarpaulin cover for the Institute's whaling harpoon gun, "taking it out of sight, if not out of mind, performing an act of decommissioning and closure. Also it is about hope, hope that the whale populations will recover as some already are, and hope that the industrialised killing of whales will one day cease entirely."

2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment adopting a proposal that recommended a ten-year moratorium on commercial whaling to allow whale stocks to recover. Subsequently (23 July 1982), members of the International Whaling Commission voted by the necessary three-quarters majority to implement a pause on commercial whaling.

Online exhibitions

The Big Freeze polar art festival logo

A Century of Polar Research

The Big Freeze art festival presents the work of a range of artists who specialise in the polar regions, together with some of the remarkable material in our collections.

It was made to accompany The Big Freeze Art polar art festival which ran from 4-14 March 2021, and featured a range of films, artist interviews and other activities. You can still watch the films and some of the events on our YouTube channel and on Crowdcast.

Visit the Big Freeze exhibition.

Exhibition header

A Century of Polar Research

This online exhibition accompanies the exhibition on display in the Polar Museum.

On the side of an Antarctic volcano Frank Debenham realised that British polar explorers needed a headquarters – somewhere to share their findings and learn from each other.

The idea for the Scott Polar Research Institute was born, and in 1920 it was officially founded as part of the University of Cambridge. Find out about the Institute's origin as a memorial to Captain Scott and his men, and the pioneering research carried out at the Institute over the last 100 years.

Visit exhibition highlights online.