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Events & exhibitions

Exhibitions in the museum

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Antarctica, A Creative Journey

An exhibition by Shelly Perkins

Shelly Perkins is a wildlife artist who aims to present the beauty and fragility of the natural world in an accessible way through her work. In 2017, Shelly travelled to Antarctica aboard the Royal Navy's ice patrol vessel, HMS Protector as the Friends of Scott Polar Research Institute's Antarctic Artist in Residence.

Visit the museum and the exhibition for free.

Visit Shelly's website:

Read more about Shelly's time as Artist in Residence.

Opens to the public from 1 April 2022

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..."

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.

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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.