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Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Honors Polar Exploration


A new photo exhibit made an impressive official debut this week at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, not only for the exhibit’s content itself but also for who was on hand to celebrate.

Norway Royalty
The exhibit, Cold Recall: Reflections of a Polar Explorer, from Norway’s Fram Museum, is on month-long display in Terminal 1—Lindbergh’s Concourse C. The display commemorates the 100th anniversary of Roald Amundsen’s first-of-its-kind expedition to the South Pole. Their Majesties King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway officially opened the exhibit with a champagne toast to the visiting royalty, and famed Norwegian explorer Liv Arnesen (pictured below) joined noted Minnesota explorers Ann Bancroft and Will Steger at the exhibit opening ceremonies on Tuesday.


Norwegian explorer Liv Arnesen with Minnesota explores Ann Bancroft and Will Steger

From 1910 to 1912, Amundsen led his team to be the first to explore the South Pole. Known for his thoroughness in planning, meticulous attention to detail and strong leadership skills, Amundsen always believed that orderliness and tenacity could solve most problems.

The lanternslides featured in the exhibit depict the conditions the explorers faced on their journeys. They provide a unique look back in time at the hard work, courage and preparation that went into successfully exploring uncharted territories. While many explorers at the time often hired professional artists or photographers for their expeditions, this wasn’t the case with Amundsen. He, along with crewmembers Godfred Hansen and Olav Bjaaland, took all of the photos. The slides used for his public lectures following his trip were colored by hand, and many are on display in Cold Recall. Amundsen’s own words from his diaries also add life to the exhibit, describing daily life—including caring for their many dogs and pups, as well as dealing with extreme temperatures of up to 80 degrees below. Amundsen lived the explorer’s life; in addition to his expedition to the South Pole, he also navigated the Northwest Passage in an attempt to reach the North Pole, and became a noted aviator after flying across the Arctic Ocean.

Cold Recall: Reflections of a Polar Explorer   Cold Recall: Reflections of a Polar Explorer

Of course, Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport serves as a gateway to a community where many of its residents claim Norwegian or Scandinavian heritage. It’s a fitting display that is part of the airport’s arts and culture program administered by the Airport Foundation MSP. The exhibit was secured through a partnership with the Honorary Royal Norwegian Consulate, the Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Sons of Norway, a Norwegian-American fraternal life insurance organization dedicated to preserving Norwegian heritage and culture that is headquartered right here in the Twin Cities.

There is no charge to view Cold Harbor, however it is located past the terminal’s security checkpoints, so access is limited to ticketed passengers. If you are on your way to a vacation or business trip—or coming to visit this great state—give yourself a few extra moments to stop by Concourse C. It will remain on display through November 14. To learn more, visit Destination Bloomington and the Fram Museum.

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