Hull Maritime Museum to display stunning pictures of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic expedition

A collection of dramatic photographs showing a perilous Antarctic expedition is to go on display at the Hull Maritime Museum.

The Enduring Eye exhibition shows pictures taken by photographer Frank Hurley during the dangerous Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914-1917, led by renowned explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Hurley’s documentation of Shackleton’s Endurance expedition – telling the story of extraordinary bravery and survival against all odds – can be viewed in stunning detail at the museum from Saturday March 3 to Sunday June 3.

The Endurance became trapped in ice in early 1915 and sank 10 months later – though all expedition members were rescued, having survived on the floating ice, before setting out on a hazardous lifeboat journey to the uninhabited Elephant Island.

Images taken by expedition photographer Hurley were saved from the sinking Endurance by Hurley and Shackleton. The original, fragile glass plate negatives were carefully preserved in the collections of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers).

One hundred years after they were captured, the dramatic images remain one of the greatest photographic records of human survival.

To mark the anniversary, the pictures have now been digitised by the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers). They were scanned at the highest resolution from the society’s unparalleled collection of the original glass plate and celluloid negatives.

The free exhibition, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, will also feature artefacts from the intrepid journey and a narrative comprising logs and diaries of Shackleton and his crew.

Councillor Terry Geraghty, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Tourism and Chair of Hull Culture & Leisure Limited, said: “I am delighted that such a striking exhibition will go on display at the museum and I am sure it will be enjoyed by a huge number of visitors.”

Alasdair MacLeod, Head of Enterprise and Resources at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), said: “We’re delighted to be working with the Hull Maritime Museum as part of Enduring Eye’s UK tour and local links project.

“The Endurance expedition is not just an incredible story of human survival and leadership, it’s also a key part of the UK’s Antarctic history. We encourage everyone to visit the exhibition while it’s on free display at the Hull Maritime Museum to discover more about the expedition and its links with Birmingham.”

The free exhibition will open from Monday to Saturday, from 10am to 5pm, with last admission 30 minutes prior to closure.