It is one of science’s burning questions: Will the melting Arctic ice reveal a Northwest Passage – the very thing Captain Cook sought but never found?
The foremost British explorer of the 18th century, Captain James Cook circumnavigated the globe twice before setting a course for the North Pacific. Mostly celebrated for his explorations of the South Pacific, Cook also braved the frozen Arctic searching for a northern route to Asia.
“Arctic Ambitions: Captain Cook and the Northwest Passage,” on view March 27 through Sept. 7 at the Anchorage Museum, focuses on his journeys in the northeast Pacific during 1778 and 1779. Artifacts, art and hands-on activities for visitors of all ages bring to life this exciting era in history – a time of bold discoveries made dangerous by uncharted waters, rocky coasts and unrelenting ice.
The exhibition examines the legacies of Cook’s northern voyage, including changes to indigenous life. Visitors learn about the intriguing issues at play in the North during Cook’s expedition that are still relevant today, including different nations’ claims to the region and its resources.
“Arctic Ambitions” is an official program of the Anchorage Centennial Celebration.
The Anchorage Museum is the largest museum in Alaska and one of the top 10 most visited attractions in the state. The museum’s mission is to connect people, expand perspectives and encourage global dialogue about the North and its distinct environment. Learn more at anchoragemuseum.org.