The Terra Nova at the ice foot, Cape Evans taken by Herbert Ponting
The Heart of the Great Alone: Scott, Shackleton & Antarctic Photography



Perfect Partner talks


Join Royal Collection experts for this series of free ten-minute talks exploring contrasting aspects of the exhibition. Talks are scheduled at 12:00 and 15:00 on the following dates:

The weirdest bird's-nesting expedition that has ever been
Thursday 9 February 2012
Emma Stuart, Curator of Books and Manuscripts, the Royal Collection,
What connects a penguin in 1902, and three men posing in the Polar dark of 1911? This talk will explore the limits to which men will go in the name of science.

A Lovely Symphony of Blue and Green: Colour and icebergs in Ponting's photographs
Thursday 8 March 2012
Sophie Gordon, the Senior Curator of Photographs Royal Library
Ponting and Captain Scott both wrote about the intense colours in the landscape of Antarctica. In his photographs, Ponting tried to convey the magical blues, greens and oranges that he witnessed during his time on the ice.  

No booking required.




Afternoon Lectures

In Search of the South Pole: The Life and Afterlife of Captain Scott

Dr Huw Lewis-Jones, historian of polar exploration
Wednesday 15 February 2012, 15:00

50-minute exhibition lecture. Booking advisable. Tickets cost £3, with a standard gallery ticket. Tea and coffee is provided.

Initially lionised by the public as a figure of selfless heroism, chivalry and scientific endeavour, Scott’s reputation has altered many times since his death. This lecture will explore the highs and lows of his ‘afterlife’. 

Please note this event is fully booked.

However, if you are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing and wish to access the live speech-to-text transcription service, please e-mail and quote Stagetext.



Captain Oates: The most tragic member of Scott's last expedition
Wednesday 14 March 2012, 15:00
Michael Smith, author and journalist

50-minute exhibition lecture. Booking advisable. Tickets cost £3, with a standard gallery ticket. Tea and coffee is provided.

Captain Lawrence ‘Titus’ Oates was immortalised by his famous words, ‘I am just going outside’. But there was considerably more to him than a memorable farewell. 

Book tickets online





Polar inspiration

Friday 2 March 2012, 18:30-20:30
Tickets: £15 / £12 concessions, booking essential

Ponting’s feature film, The Great White Silence, is one of many works of art which sought to capture the Antarctic experience. This event, illustrated with excerpts from the film, introduced by BFI Curator Bryony Dixon, will consider why and how Ponting and other artists were inspired by one of the most inhospitable landscapes on the planet

Book tickets online




BSL, lipspeaking and verbal description tours


BSL Interpreted and Lipspeaking Guided Tour
Wednesday, 22 February 2012, 18:00
Sophie Gordon, the Senior Curator of Photographs Royal Library

Explore the incredible Antarctic expeditions of Captain Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton.  Sophie will highlight key works from the photographs of Herbert George Ponting and Frank Hurley which show the extraordinary environment of ‘the Heart of the Great Alone’. 

BSL Interpretation and Lipspeaking support will be provided.

Book online



Verbal Description Event for the Blind and Partially Sighted
Wednesday, 29 February 2012, 14:00–16:00

This event will explore the expeditions of Captain Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton by describing a number of key photographs in the exhibition. It will look at the journeys the men made, their team members, the equipment and provisions they took with them and the dramatic challenges both faced.


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For more information on our changing programme of events, short courses and gallery talks and to join our mailing list:

telephone: 020 7766 7323