Endurance Expedition

Frank Hurley. The ship … 15 seconds after the floes came together, October 18, 1915. Atlas Limited Editions, 1995.

In 1914, British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922) set out to cross Antarctica via the South Pole on foot, something that had not yet been achieved.  Australian photographer Frank Hurley (1885-1962) accompanied the team to document the expedition.  In January 1915, however, the team’s ship “Endurance” became trapped in the ice.  By October, the force of the ice began to crush the ship.  Once the ice parted enough, Endurance sank into the Weddell Sea.  After a harrowing crossing to South Georgia, a rescue mission was assembled, and no one from the expedition perished. 

Once it became clear that the ship was disintegrating, Hurley spent three days on the ice documenting the destruction.  In this image, Shackleton is positioned in the top right, looking out over the ice field from his tilting ship.

Link: The Heart of the Great Alone exhibit at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace