Maritime history’s greatest mystery still captivates nearly 200 years later
Anchorage, Alaska, is the final stop for Franklin expedition exhibition
June 11, 2019
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – June 6, 2019 – Explore the mystery behind Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated journey to chart the Northwest Passage through the Arctic to Asia in the exhibition Death in the Ice: The Mystery of the Franklin Expedition on view June 7 through Sept. 29, 2019, at the Anchorage Museum.
After departing Britain in 1845 on two of the Royal Navy’s sturdiest ships, Franklin and his 128 crewmembers were never heard from again. Over several decades, more than 35 expeditions were launched to find the fate of Franklin’s men. Graves, provisions, a single handwritten note and Inuit tales told a grim story, but the ships and men were never found … until 2014 with the discovery of HMS Erebus followed by HMS Terror in 2016.
The 7,500-square-foot, multi-media exhibition includes materials from London’s National Maritime Museum and the Canadian Museum of History, plus artifacts recovered from the Erebus by Parks Canada. Inuit oral histories, critical to the understanding of what happened to Franklin’s men, are incorporated throughout the exhibition. In addition, Dr. Owen Beattie’s Franklin Expedition Forensic Anthropology Project work, which lead to the theory that lead poisoning may have been one of the factors behind the expedition’s demise.
The Anchorage Museum is the last stop of a four-city tour for the international exhibition Death in the Ice: The Mystery of the Franklin Expedition. Special exhibition fee is $5, plus museum admission. Access to the exhibition is free for Anchorage Museum members. A gift shop is located in the exhibition. See anchoragemuseum.org/deathintheice for more information and related programs.
Death in the Ice: The Mystery of the Franklin Expedition is a traveling exhibition developed by the Canadian Museum of History (Gatineau, Canada), in partnership with Parks Canada Agency and with the National Maritime Museum (London, UK), and in collaboration with the Government of Nunavut and the Inuit Heritage Trust.
Anchorage Museum sponsors include The Hotel Captain Cook, Matson, TOTE Maritime, Carlile, Eunice D. Silberer, Jan and Jeri van den Top, Van Wyck Family and Susanne Byrd.
About Anchorage Museum
The largest museum in Alaska, the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center tells the true story of the North by connecting people, expanding perspectives and encouraging global dialogue about the North and its distinct environment. Learn more at anchoragemuseum.org.