WASHINGTON (May 12, 2011)—This summer, National Geographic Museum will host two exhibitions featuring exciting moments in world history. Through photographs, paintings and rare artifacts, “Race to the End of the Earth,” open from May 25 to Aug 21, 2011, recounts the challenges of two explorers during their race to reach the South Pole 100 years ago. “The Etruscans: An Ancient Italian Civilization,” open from June 10 to Sept. 25, 2011, showcases this influential ancient society through more than 450 original artifacts. Both exhibitions will be in National Geographic Museum’s 17th Street building. Paid admission is required to enter the 17th Street galleries.
Embarking on a 1,800-mile journey through Antarctica in 1911, explorers Roald Amundsen of Norway and Robert Falcon Scott of Britain each set off from the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf in an attempt to be the first to reach the South Pole. “Race to the End of the Earth” tells the stirring tale of both men and their teams as they experienced the extreme challenges of an Antarctic expedition, from the limits of human endurance to the risks posed by the region’s extreme weather conditions. The exhibition re-creates the story of their dangerous polar journey through dioramas, wildlife footage, photographs, paintings and rare historical artifacts, including clothing and equipment used by the teams. Interactive activities allow visitors to learn how to use a compass in Antarctic conditions or test sled runners on different ice textures. The exhibition also highlights how these expeditions paved the way for modern polar research in fields from geology to astrophysics.
“Race to the End of the Earth” is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York, in collaboration with Musée des Confluences, Lyon, France, and Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Generous support has also been provided by the government of the United Kingdom and the National Science Foundation.
National Geographic Live will host three events in conjunction with the “Race to the End of the Earth” exhibition. On Monday, June 13, exhibit curator and research scientist Ross MacPhee will give a lecture on the significance of the race. A family film day will take place on Sunday, June 18 featuring films about Scott and Amundsen. Finally, polar explorer Christian Eide will host an illustrated talk on the exhibition on Wednesday, July 6. For more information, including ticketing, please visit www.nglive.com. The museum has partnered with the D.C. Public Library for a “Race to the End of the Earth” activity that will kick off its Summer Reading Program, “One World, Many Stories,” at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library on Wednesday, June 1.
Dominating the Italian peninsula from the ninth century B.C. through the sixth century B.C., well before the advent of the Roman Republic, the Etruscans left a legacy of captivating accomplishments. “The Etruscans: An Ancient Italian Civilization” highlights the beliefs, scientific achievements and artistic mastery of the Etruscan people through more than 450 rare artifacts, including funerary items, tools, weapons, domestic implements and sculptures. These objects, found in archaeological sites throughout Tuscany and neighboring provinces, are a testament to the influence of this ancient society. Rare artifacts on loan from the Museo Acheologico Nazionale in Florence and Collezione Cambi, Chiusi, include a three-foot-high alabaster urn from fourth-century Perugia; a late second-century terracotta sarcophagus; a seventh-century carriage from the Tomb of Carriages at the Necropolis of San Carbone, Populina; a fourth-century gold diadem and much more.
“The Etruscans” exhibition is organized by Contemporanea Progetti, Italy, in cooperation with Exhibits Development Group, USA, and organized locally under the banner of LaDolce DC. The event is part of Italy@150, a program of events organized throughout the United States under the auspices of the president of the Italian Republic.
Guided family tours of “Race to the End of the Earth” will take place every Monday at
11 a.m.; guided tours of “The Etruscans” will take place every Wednesday at 11 a.m. In conjunction with “Race to the End of the Earth,” free family workshops will be held on Sunday, June 26; Sunday, July 31; and Sunday, Aug. 21, at 1 p.m.
National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., is open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is closed Dec. 25. Admission is $8 for adults; $6 for National Geographic members, military, students, seniors and groups of 25 or more; $4 for children 5-12; and free (reservation required) for school, student and youth groups (18 and under). Tickets may be purchased online at www.ngmuseum.org; via telephone at (202) 857-7700; or in person at the National Geographic ticket office, 1600 M Street, N.W., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. For more information on group sales, call (202) 857-7281 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photography exhibitions in the museum’s M Street gallery and outdoors are free.
For information on the “Race to the End of the Earth” and “The Etruscans” exhibitions, the public should call (202) 857-7588 or visit www.ngmuseum.org.