Lines in the Ice: Seeking the Northwest Passage, British Library, 96 Euston Road
London NW1, until 19th April 2015.
The news of the discovery of one of Sir John Franklin’s lost ships (HMS Erebus) last year in the words of Philip Hatfield, the chief curator of this show, ‘has reminded us of the pull the Arctic has on our imagination. For centuries explorers have searched for routes through and resources in the Arctic, and while men like Frobisher sought gold today’s searches are for black gold. Lines in the Ice looks at this long history of exploration, the threads that link it together and the reasons we are still interested in the Arctic today.’
Indeed the show makes the point well, concentrating on the three leading Arctic explorers who sought to find the legendary Northwest Passage – Martin Frobisher, Sir John Franklin and Roald Amundsen. The exhibition uses items and objects, some of which are quirky, from Europe, Canada and the Arctic to give a good idea of life there.