A couple of months ago I visited The Polar Museum in Cambridge. Admittedly, I did not think I would be that interested in a museum about polar exploration, but I was very wrong! I did the audio tour, which I think it made more enjoyable and would recommend doing it if you have the time. The museum has hundreds of artifacts from several historic polar expeditions, the main focus being on Captain Scott’s journey. Stand out pieces on display include Captain Oates’ sleeping bag and the letters the men wrote when they knew the end was near. One of my personal highlights are the items of food, including the large sledging biscuits and pemmican. Especially with the audio tour, you get a good sense of what it must have been like at the time in those conditions and the sadness towards the end of Scott’s expedition.
Another thing you get a sense of is what life is like in the Arctic, including the modern day. I was surprised and happy to find printmaking on display, along with other Inuit artworks and carvings. The above picture, ‘Boy Feeding Birds’ is one of the prints I saw. It is created using a stonecut technique. This was the first time I had really looked at Inuit art, I found the simplicity and honesty of some of the pieces refreshing. Being a fairly small museum there is only so much art on display, but the collection is available to view online here.
The Polar Museum is definitely worth a visit, even if you think it isn’t for you, you will be surprised!