UND exhibit explores ‘Cold Recall:’ the early 20th Century’s great race to the South Pole


Wilbur Stolt

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

Chester Fritz Library


The University of North Dakota invites the public to view “Cold Recall: Reflections of a Polar Explorer” – a traveling poster exhibit that presents images from one of the greatest adventures of the early 20th century: the race to the South Pole.

The exhibit will be on display April 2-27 in the UND Chester Fritz Library.

Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole on Dec. 14, 1911, only a few weeks before Englishman Robert Falcon Scott. Amundsen was celebrated in his native Norway and throughout the world for his achievement, considered one of the great triumphs of human endurance of the age.

Created by the Fram Museum (Oslo, Norway), in partnership with the Royal Norwegian Embassy, the exhibit marks the 100th anniversary of famed polar explorer Roald Amundsen’s expedition to the South Pole from 1910-1912. The exhibit is touring the United States under the sponsorship of the Royal Norwegian Embassy; this will be the only showing of the exhibit in North Dakota.

Great Conversation

Another featured aspect of the exhibit will be a visit and “Great Conversation” with Ann Bancroft, a famed polar explorer of the more modern age. More details on Bancroft’s visit to UND and Grand Forks will be released to the public very soon.

Bancroft, a native of Scandia, Minn., was the first woman in history to travel over the ice caps of the North and South Poles. She dog-sledded more than 1,000 miles from the Northwest Territories of Canada to the North Pole with Will Steger’s 1986 expedition. She also led the 1993 American Women’s Expedition to the South Pole, a 67-day trek of 660 miles on skis.

Bancroft founded the AWE Foundation, a nonprofit focused on celebrating achievements of women and girls. She was also featured in the book Remarkable Women of the Twentieth Century, inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame in 1995 and named Ms. Magazine’s “Woman of the Year” in 1995. She’s a longtime elementary educator and coach.

Event Schedule

The UND Chester Fritz Library and Department of Modern & Classical Languages & Literatures are hosting the “Cold Recall” exhibit and related programming that spotlights UND research and related events in Antarctica:

Date, Time, Event, Venue

April 4, 6 p.m. Exhibit Opening Reception and Program, Chester Fritz Library

April 12, 7:30 p.m. Great Conversation with Polar explorer, Ann Bancroft, with Dr. Melissa Gjellstad, Chester Fritz Auditorium

April 17, 7 p.m. “No Shower, No Problem” Dr. Jaakko Putkonen and his Student Polar Research Team, Chester Fritz Library

April 24, 7 p.m. Film Screening: Encounters at the End of the World with discussion by Dr. Olaf Berwald, Chester Fritz Library

All events are free and open to the public. The Great Conversation will be held in the Chester Fritz Auditorium. All other events will be held in the Chester Fritz Library.

Expedition Images

The exhibit “Cold Recall” is a collection of 48 posters that features hand-colored lantern slides taken by Amundsen crew member Olav Bjaaland during the expedition. Accompanying texts on the posters stem from Amundsen’s writings from these journeys. Because the majority of his own photos had been damaged, Amundsen used Bjaaland’s images to illustrate his expeditions to the South Pole and through the Northwest Passage at public lectures that doubled as fundraising events for future explorations.

Amundsen’s other notable accomplishments include being the first person to reach both the South and North Pole and the first successfully to traverse the Northwest Passage via boat. He was also one of the first to use airplanes to explore the northern polar regions. Amundsen died in 1928 while flying a rescue mission in the north polar area.

The exhibit and programming are supported in part by the University of North Dakota, the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the North Dakota Humanities Council.