Race to the End of the Earth Opens at the Museum of Idaho

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Updated: 1/29/2014 10:57 pm

A little more than a century ago, the eyes of the world were
riveted to the south, way south. Antarctica provided the backdrop as two teams
raced to become the first to reach the South Pole. There is a reason why none
of us have visited this continent but you can come pretty close to it thanks to
a new exhibition at the Museum of Idaho.

On a day when Idaho Falls bared some resemblance to Antarctica,
a select group of people were able to see an exhibition about the quest to be
the first to reach the South Pole. It’s called the Race to the End of the Earth
and it will be in town until September.

Its home for the next seven months will be the Museum of
Idaho. The exhibit has only been on display two other times in the United
States, once at its home at the American Museum of Natural History in New York,
and once at the National Geographic Society in Washington D.C.

“We’ve hosted some pretty incredible exhibits in the past
which gave the American Museum of Natural History confidence that we could
handle this,” said Claire Smith, Museum of Idaho Curator. “And the response
from the staff they sent out has been really good. They’ve enjoyed working with

This is the only time that the actual artifacts from the
endeavor have been on display in the United States as part of the traveling
exhibit. Visitors will be able to see the actual sleds and other artifacts that
were used to help get the team to end of the earth. There are also interactive
displays that will bring you on the journey and show what Antarctica was like
then and how it looks today.

“Seeing things that actually were there, that were owned by
these intrepid explorers in 1911 is incredibly powerful,” said Smith. “Objects
speak to us in a way, I think, that text never can. You can read, you can get
information other places, but you can’t feel it quite the same as actually
coming in and seeing these artifacts.”

The exhibit will be on display until September. After that
it is scheduled to go to France. There currently are no future dates for this
exhibit in the United States.

The exhibit will officially open to the public on Friday. You
can learn more about the Museum of Idaho at this link.

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