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The Antarctic Shrine

A small building with crates around it
Description: Painting, Oil on Board; by Standish Backus; 1957; Framed Dimensions 26H X 34W
Accession #: 88-186-BS
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"Sir Ernest Shackleton's historic British Antarctic Expedition of 1907 chose Cape Royds on Ross Island as the site of their headquarters. Today, fifty years later, it remains in much the same state as when they left it in 1909, even to their last meal still ready on the table. So free from deterioration and corrosion is this relic that much of the foodstuffs is yet edible, the magazines of the day quite unyellowed, and seemingly the only disarrangement has resulted from the screaming 100 mile per hour winds. In the painting, units of Task Force 43 may be seen several miles off Cape Royds fighting their way through frozen McMurdo Sound behind an icebreaker toward the base at Hut Point, thirty miles to the south. In the background the great mountains fifty miles away in Victoria Land peer under the overcast. The campsites of such early, heroic explorers as Scott and Shackleton have since been declared shrines by Admiral Dufek and are not to be molested in any way." --Commander Standish Backus

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