OML is pleased to present To the Ends of the Earth... and Back: Selections from the Jay I. Kislak Polar Collection, an exhibition curated by Arthur Dunkleman, Director of the Jay I. Kislak Foundation, Miami Lakes, Florida. The exhibition offers a historical overview of polar exploration and the ongoing process of globalization as depicted in maps, charts, books, and artifacts from the Kislak Polar Collection. It begins with the Greek and Roman concepts of the “frigid zones,” as the polar regions were first named, continues with the Renaissance idea of terra australis (the supposed southern continent) and the often fatal search for the Northeast and Northwest passages from Europe to Asia, and ends with the ultimate challenge: to reach the South Pole, the end of the earth. The exhibition includes over eighty objects that span five centuries. They document not only Western expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic but also the impact of those expeditions on popular culture and globalization.
The Jay I. Kislak Collection is the core of Exploring the Early Americas, an ongoing exhibition in the historic Thomas Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress and is integral to the library’s program of research, education, and public activity. During the past decade the foundation has focused on the early history of navigation, exploration and discovery, with particular emphasis on the polar regions. Selected highlights of the Kislak Polar Collection are on display in this exhibition.